Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

You are just a toddler now, not yet two, and the second born of four children. When I found out you were to have another sister—making you the only boy—I found myself having to defend our family. “Your poor son,” others would say to me, “having to be the only boy. He is going to go crazy in that house.”

While I know they didn’t mean anything by it, I still felt as if I had to speak up for our family and let them know just how lucky you are to have these three sisters to grow up with. There are so many things I hope they will teach you.

I hope you learn how to be a protector.

It may not seem like it for quite some time, but your sisters are fortunate to have a brother to look out for them. One day, they are going to have boyfriends and it will be your job to make sure that those boyfriends are good enough. And it’s true, no one is ever really going to be good enough in your eyes (although, I know you’re not likely to admit that) but I hope you will look out for your sisters and not let anyone take advantage of them. They need your protection (although, they probably aren’t likely to admit that, either). This will also teach you how to look out for others as you go out into the world and make new friends and have new relationships. Everyone deserves to have someone look out for them.

I hope you learn how to be a good husband.

If nothing else, growing up with all of these females should teach you about their inevitable mood swings and when to leave them be. It should teach you when to walk away from an argument and when to offer a hug . . . sometimes a hug can mean so much to someone going through a hard time. You’ll learn how to make them smile and how to make them laugh. You’ll learn how to be a comfort when it’s needed and how to be supportive. All of these things will help you do the same with the person you will marry one day. You’ll be able to understand why she feels the way she does and how to be there for her when she needs you, no matter what the situation is or what mood it has her in.

Then there are those habits you will learn to break because they irritate a woman, like leaving the toilet seat up—something that doesn’t bother all women but that might get you yelled at a few times by your sisters and will make you automatically adjust your habits to avoid the wrath of the females in the house.

I hope you learn that girls are fierce, too.

That they can be engineers and sports stars, chefs and rock stars, executives and mechanics. They can be anything they want as long as they put their minds to it. Being girls doesn’t make them less capable. However, I hope you also learn that girls are different from boys; they think and act differently. Don’t expect them to think the way you do or handle things in the same way. We are all individuals and our only limitations are ourselves. Support each person to be who he or she wants to be. Having three sisters—each with her own individual personality, hopes, and dreams—should teach you just that.

Having sisters isn’t the end of the world. Your father is here to help you become a man one day and I’m so grateful you will have such a great influence.

And one day, you will have friends come over who you will have to keep away from your sisters.

Then one day, you will have brothers who come into your life when your sisters marry.

My son, I hope you learn that family is everything and will have your back, just as you have theirs.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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

Order Now

Anastasia Smothers

Anastasia is a mother of four children under four and a proud wife to a veteran. When not with her children, she works full -time and also has a part-time position as a substitute teacher. 

To the Parents Facing a Child’s Illness: You Are Strong

In: Grief, Kids, Motherhood
Toddler with cast and IV looking out window

If you are the parents who just sat for hours in a cold doctor’s office to hear that your child has a life-threatening illness, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who can’t bring yourself to decorate or celebrate the unknown because you don’t know if they’ll ever come home, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who travel or relocate to deliver your child in one of the best hospitals with hopes it will change the outcome, you are so strong. If you are the parents who learn all the medical terminology so you understand...

Keep Reading

I Am a Mother Evolving

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Mother and child walking by water in black and white photo

Those who mean well squawk the refrain— “The days are long, but the years are short.” They said I would miss it— little feet and newborn baby smell nursing in the wee hours with a tiny hand clutching mine. Tying shoes,  playing tooth fairy,  soothing scary dreams. They were fine times, but I do not wish them back. RELATED: Mamas, Please Quit Mourning Your Children Growing Up I rather enjoy these days of my baby boy suddenly looking like a young man in a baseball uniform  on a chilly Wednesday in April. And my Amazonian teenage girl  with size 11...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

As a Nurse, This Is How I Prepared My Daughter for Her First Period

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman wearing sunglasses with hands on the sides of her face and smiling, black and white photo

I don’t remember my first period, which means my mother had me well prepared. This doesn’t mean I was okay with it. I remember feeling awkward and tense each time. And honestly, for many years, shopping for feminine hygiene products filled me with unease. But wait a minute! There shouldn’t be anything shameful about something that will recur for about half of a woman’s life! Who decided it was to be a sensitive subject? Aren’t we all supposed to show empathy toward each other when it comes to this?  I say, pass the Midol around, sister! I knew the time...

Keep Reading

With Grandkids, It’s The Little Things

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Nine children sitting on a couch together

We had just pulled into the driveway when our youngest grandtwins, 3-year-old Ellis and Brady, came running out the front door and down the steps to hug us. “Let me see your earrings, Grandma,” Ellis said, reaching up to pull me down to his level. “The green M&Ms!  I told you, Brady!” “Those are the ones our brother Adler picked out for you!” Brady yelled as he ushered us into the house and started going through the tote bag I always carry for them, filled with favorite books from our house and three little bags of snacks in the bottom....

Keep Reading

Childhood Is Not a Race

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two young girls playing in creek bed, color photo

Sweet child, I know you want to grow up. You want to get older and do more and more. I see you changing day after day. You are no longer a little girl, but you’re turning into a young lady. You’re becoming this wonderful person who leads and cares for others. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. But don’t rush out of your childhood. It’s this beautiful season where wonder and discovery live. It’s this beautiful time when you don’t have to carry the weight of adulthood. It’s this beautiful time. Savor it. Slow down and enjoy it. Breathe in...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Band Kids

In: Kids

There is something incredibly special about band kids. The hours of practice that begin in elementary school. It’s the squeaking and squawking of a new alto or the flutter of early flute days, high-pitched honks from a trumpet, constant and consistent tapping . . . drumming on everything. And gallons of spit too, until one day a few years down the road, you realize all that practice time has turned into an incredible melody and skill. The alarm that goes off at 5:35 a.m., and before most people are awake, band kids have sleepily found a quick breakfast bite, grabbed...

Keep Reading

You’ll Grow So Much In Kindergarten and I Can’t Wait to Watch

In: Kids
Two young children in backpacks walk toward a school building

On her seventh day of school, my kindergartener doesn’t cry. It was a long road to this day. For the first six days of school, we experienced varying degrees of screaming, clinging, running back inside our house and slamming the door, and expressing general displeasure with the whole idea of school. “I wanna stay home with YOU, Mommy!” “But Charlotte, you are bored out of your mind every day of the summer. You hate it.” “No I don’t. I LOVE IT.” “Well we can spend every afternoon after school and all weekend together. You’ll be tired of me in five...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Football Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Football captains lined up at 50-yard line, color photo

There’s something about football boys.  Maybe it’s the sunrise practices when the heat is too strong mid-afternoon. Or maybe it’s the late nights lying in their beds, studying game film long after practice has ended and once their homework is done. Maybe it’s the way they look under the Friday night lights, with pads over their broad shoulders and light reflecting off their glossy helmets.  Maybe it’s intangible, something that can only be felt deep in the heart as you watch them run through the paper banner, past the cheerleaders and fans, and onto the field. Yeah, it’s true, there’s...

Keep Reading