Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I was on the phone with my mom, yacking away and paying attention to only my words, the phone and my mom. It was a hot day, so moisture was building up on the screen of my phone, but I couldn’t care less. I was in the zone.

“Mommy,” my son said.

“Shh, mommy is on the phone,” I replied.

My mom and I continued our conversation about the best TV shows, what my crazy uncle is up to and the color of our nails.

“Mommy, I want to show you something,” my son exclaimed.

“In a minute, I’m almost done talking,” I whispered.

My mom chimed in, “Hunny, go pay attention to that boy of yours, they grow up so fast. Look at me, sitting here a few states away talking to my 32-year-old daughter on the phone. I would long for you to be 4 again and begging for my attention.”

I hung up and went inside to find my kids. I paused, however, at the mess in the kitchen. “Oh what the heck, I’ll go ahead and clean this before I see what he needs.”

“Mommy, there you are, I really, really want to show you something, please come with me.”

“Oh gosh sweetie, let me just wash this last dish, and I promise I will be right there.”

With that he slumped away. Poor guy, he’d been feigning for my attention all day. I was starting to feel guilty, to feel pulled in two different directions. My two jobs of mother and maid were colliding.

I heard laughter in the distance. It was a soft and sweet laughter. The kind that tugs at your mama heart strings, the kind you’ll remember when they are 32 and living many states away. At this sound, I left the dishes to investigate the happenings behind these chuckles.

I walked into the playroom to my son and daughter in deep imagination.

“Oh dear,” I shouted. “There’s a GIRAFFE in the house!!”

My son bounced with joy, “That’s right, Mama! I’m the zookeeper and my sister is a giraffe!”

I quickly jumped into action. I acted as Giraffe handler and began grooming the giraffe. I brushed her “fur” and fetched a wet washcloth to clean her “hooves.”

“I think she’s hungry!” The zookeeper noticed. “Yip, yip, yip,” the giraffe agreed in what I could imagine was giraffe language.

I darted to the kitchen to fetch some lettuce and asked the giraffe to sit nicely and shake for me. Well wouldn’t you know, the giraffe living in my house is so wonderful at following rules, I rewarded her with lettuce. “Roll over, roll over,” the zookeeper requested. The giraffe complied, another piece of lettuce she got.

Later that night as we were gathered at the table, my husband asked how our day was. We all chimed in with details about the giraffe we found living in our house. “We fed her and bathed her and Mom was the official giraffe handler lady. She was so good at it, Daddy!”

You see; if I hadn’t stopped tending to reality, I would’ve missed this. I have to admit, I usually don’t jump into pretend play with my children, but oh my, this was fun. My mom’s words kept ringing in my head, “Go pay attention to that boy of yours. They grow up so fast.”

I not only created a day of wonder, exploration and memories for a lifetime, I paid attention. I played. I pretended. I was filled with imagination and I related to my children. Isn’t that what children are constantly begging for, for their parents to relate to them?

Put reality on hold and give your children an adventure. Who knows, you too may stumble across a real life giraffe in your house.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jackie Boeheim

Jacqueline Leigh holds a BA in Journalism from Valdosta State University. She’s successfully published articles in multiple lifestyle magazines and online publications. She is passionate about entertaining both parents and children through her writing. Jacqueline's first picture book, Time For Bed With Ford And Red, is set to release in June 2017. She makes her home in North Carolina with her husband and two spirited children. You can follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/authorjacquelineleigh/?ref=bookmarks

Dear Teachers, Thank You For Believing in Your Students

In: Kids, Living
Little girl wearing a backpack looks into a doorway

When I was in sixth grade my English teacher, Mr. McMain, left a note on one of my completed assignments. “You have a gift for writing.” I honestly don’t remember how it felt to read those words. Maybe I felt a rush of pride, or maybe I just shoved the paper into my folder and went back to passing notes or whispering with friends. It was a well-received compliment from a favorite teacher, but it meant little more at the time. Here I am, though—twenty-ish years later—and I can honestly say I think about that comment often. As fate would have...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading