So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My 9-year-old son, Waylan, had a flag football game last night. It was chilly. It was windy. I didn’t want to dig out my heavy winter coat, but I knew I would need more than a windbreaker, so I reached for the fuzzy blanket we keep on the back of the sofa in the living room. 

My 11-year-old son, Liam, walked in as I was folding the blanket and said, “No, Mom. I’ve got a more ‘football-ish’ blanket for you.” He disappeared to his bedroom and returned moments later carrying his beloved Kansas City Chiefs blanket, which is typically not a shareable item. He held it out to me, with a look of tenderness in his blue eyes, so like my own. 

This touched my heart so much.

He knows I have been under the weather for several days. He also knows sitting outside in the wind probably isn’t the best when I am battling allergies, a cold, or severe sinus pressure, but it is what a mother does even when she does not quite feel up to it. 

This same child, who spends more time with his eyes glued to his laptop or his headphones drowning out all background noise so he can concentrate on gaming does not always see past the monitor into the needs of others. 

Yet when I least expected it, he graciously offered his favorite warm, fuzzy blanket. A gesture of chivalry, selfless concern for the one woman in his life who treasures him like none other.

It is in these little moments of pure, unexpected sweetness that I get lost in the shifting tides of time. 

My baby is now a full-fledged young man. Changing daily before my very eyes. Nearly tall enough to surpass me in height. Intelligent enough to beat me at family game night or more suitable to help his little brother with math homework. This near teenager may be speeding toward the angst of those dreaded in-between years, but he still reveals precious snippets of the tender little boy I recall from treasured toddler years gone by.

Those hidden hugs from behind when I am making dinner. Those looks of half-entertained, half-annoyed intrigue when I try to use his pre-adolescent lingo but fail miserably. The wild bedhead he wakes up with every morning. The toothpaste on the mirror because he refuses to spit directly into the sink. The sweaty hugs at the end of his basketball and football games. The innocent stares and small twinkle in his eye when I ask about his seldom talked about girlfriend.

So many small, heartrending moments I want to pause and get lost in forever.

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. The hustle and bustle of sports practices, game nights, homework woes, studying for tests, birthday parties, school events, and church events.

Not to mention how each son clambers about, spreading his wings farther away from home with each passing day until one day, his flight lands him in a new home, separate from the nest in which he originated. That is a day I dread. It is also a day I know charts new territory for this child, daily making small strides toward manhood.

I will embrace the changes. I will welcome the constant need for just a little more of that independence he craves. I will tearfully allow my baby to branch out, farther and farther away.

The tables slowly turn when the child becomes the caretaker, comforter, and nurturer to the parent who has always tried to be all-encompassing in her eternal blessing of motherhood.

But on days I feel overwhelmed, emotionally spent, and in need of a little something extra, I will tearfully accept his favorite well-worn, fuzzy KC Chiefs blanket. 

Manndi Maphies Wilkins

I am a boy momma of two, who works at a School of Pharmacy and enjoys freelance writing on the side. I enjoy sharing my daily adventures as a (former) single mom with anyone who will read them. Life is full of ups…and downs…and then more ups. The joy is in the journey and if others find my journey humorous, relatable, and inspiring, I will never quit sharing it! So happy to connect with such an inspiring group of writers!

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

Did I Shelter You Too Much?

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom and tween daughter

I’ve made so many mistakes as your mother. From moving too much to letting you stay up too late, I know I should’ve done better. But of all the mistakes I’ve made, not letting you make your own was my biggest. It’s the one I regret the most. I only wanted your happiness. Keeping you safe and happy were my most important jobs.  At least I thought so at the time.   If you forgot your homework, I’d drive it in. If you were too tired for school, I let you stay home. If you didn’t want to speak, I spoke...

Keep Reading

For the Love of the Game and a Little Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Several baseball players with coach, color photo

When your babies are babies, you think the days are never going to end. You’re so filled up with love for them, but oh momma, you are sooo exhausted. One day runs into the other, runs into the other, and so on. Those days are filled with feedings, diaper changes, sleepless nights, and milk-drunk smiles. You get all the firsts. The first smile. The first laugh. The first words. The first crawl. Before you know it, they’re walking. Walking turns into running. But hold your breath momma, these are the good old days. These long days and even longer nights...

Keep Reading

Dear Strong-Willed Child, Don’t Hide Your Big Personality

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in sprinkler

My sweet child, I often wondered in our early days together how one tiny person could have so much bigness dwelling inside them. Your will was set from day one as you fought the nurses with more strength than any 7-pound human with unused muscles ever should have possessed. Your cry was big and demanded a response. Your appetite was big as you insisted on nursing every hour-and-a-half . . . day and night. Your pediatrician only smiled gently as I lamented your hatred of sleep, your refusal to be set down, and your persistence in screaming until your need...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime