Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

My 4-year-old came out of her room wearing a too-small shirt this morning. I was genuinely confused. Did she grow overnight? I was sure it fit just the other day. In fact, I remembered her wearing it to preschool . . . six months ago.

Oh. Right. This is 2020, a strange black hole where it feels like time has stopped, but it’s actually marching on as usual.

We aren’t marching on or carrying on or doing anything as usual, though.

RELATED: To My Friends Still Social Distancing

For a while, it felt like time really had stopped. Most people we knew, except essential workers, were practicing some form of quarantine. Anywhere lacking a drive-thru window was closed. We picked up grocery orders with missing items and learned to live slowly and cautiously. Schools shut their doors, and we moved one portion of our lives online and another portion offline.

We were all in survival mode, and we focused on getting through each day while striving for some sense of normalcy. My two daughters, who are four and six, were amazingly resilient through it all. Little by little, we returned some parts of our lives to what they were like before, even altered by masks and social distancing.

More than six months have passed in this odd limbo, but in some ways, it feels like one long week. This is why it’s so startling when I notice my girls have gotten taller.

It’s silly to admit, but I can’t really believe they’ve kept growing all this time when the world has seemed to stand still.

I marvel at their long limbs, their faces becoming more defined and less baby-round. They are maturing, despite the irregularities of their circumstances this year.

RELATED: Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Forget

I wonder: have I taught them enough? Have they learned enough, here with their father and me, away from school friends and teachers? I’m quite certain I haven’t taught them enough math skills. Neither girl is reading independently yet. I worry constantly that I’m squandering this time, but then I step back and see what they have learned that can’t be measured in a standardized test.

They’ve learned grace and patience—so much grace and patience. They know if I’m on the computer, they may have to wait a few minutes before I can help them with something. If I yell out, “Work call!” they know to tone it down until I’m done. They know that if we all really need it, we can drop everything for a cuddle break.

They’ve learned love and kindness. It takes a lot of both to live with the same few people day after day, and when you’re four and six, having just each other as playmates most of the time can be challenging. But I’m happy to see they’ve grown closer by practicing love and kindness toward each other.  They play together, work side by side, and have taken to calling each other “Snugglebug,” which is as precious as it sounds.

RELATED: How Lucky You Are To Be Growing Up With Sisters

They’ve learned to swim, to play Uno, and to pay attention to the changing seasons more closely than I do, asking about the changing trees and watching baby birds grow.

All these things and more, life lessons and trivial information, they’ve taken in over the past few months.

I asked my 6-year-old if she’d missed school. She replied, “A little. But I have liked all of us being here together.” As we head into the fall, I’ll still worry if I am teaching them enough, but I’ll hold on to that. We’ll keep loving each other the best we can, and everything else will fall into place. We’ll do more math but also keep watching the trees. We’ll move out of survival mode and into a thriving rhythm, accepting that time really is passing, and we’ll do it all together.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Rebekah Warren

Rebekah Warren lives on ten acres in Oklahoma, where she’s constantly chasing after her barefooted daughters with their shoes. She writes about the joys and heartaches of motherhood at and on Instagram @rebekahwarrenwrites.

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading

1-Year-Olds Are Wonderful

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
1 year old baby smiling

Newborns—who doesn’t love them?  The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic. But have you ever had a 1-year-old? I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory. But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are All in School Now and It’s a Little Lonely

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman looking out window alone

I had just dropped my children off at school. All of them. My youngest has just started full-time. It was my first full day on my own since she began, and I had really been looking forward to it, so I took myself into town to do a bit of shopping and grab a coffee. Just me. The kind of days dreams are made of, right? I could suddenly breathe again.  I only had myself to answer to.  I got my latte and something to eat. And then I cried.  My eyes filled with tears as I sat in the...

Keep Reading