Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

I held you tonight—well, I tried. You’re 25 pounds of smushy love. My arms can’t cradle your body like they could just a few months ago. No longer my tiny baby, but a growing toddler who looks just like his daddy.

You’re growing so fast.

No one had to tell me how quickly this year would fly, I already knew. That’s the gift and the pain of being the last. I treasure it all just a little bit more, because I know the heartache that lies ahead when the final firsts are over.

Please don’t take my sadness as grief. No. It’s beauty. It’s love. It’s how God intended all of this to be. But my sweet little man, I can’t help but feel a small twinge of hurt as I watch you go through all of those first moments. Because for me, they mark a season of my life that will never be again.

Never again will I feel the kicks of a tiny baby growing inside of me. I’ll never again feel the pain of childbirth, or experience the sweet, joyful first cry.

I’ll never again see your first smile, or hear that first laugh or watch that first step.

Those moments that seem to last forever when we’re in the trenches, are gone just as quickly as I expected.

We’re starting a new chapter, you and me. You’re a growing toddler. I’m an aging mother. A girl mom and a boy mom, this will be such a grand adventure.

God willing, my son, we have many wonderful firsts ahead of us.

School days and sports. The first dance, the first date.

I can’t wait to watch you experience the goodness of this world. Your beautiful eyes will see many lovely creatures and your sweet hands will touch loved ones. So much is waiting for you, my love.

I need you to know something. I prayed for you. I prayed for your sisters, too, but with you, it was different. It was a longing like I’ve never known. I knew my heart wasn’t whole. I asked God to show me why. I needed to understand what I was missing.

It was you, Son. You were missing. I wasn’t content until my soul met you. When I looked into your precious eyes nearly one year ago, I just knew.

You made our family of five complete.

This week, we’ll celebrate your first birthday. We’ll sing songs and blow kisses. I’ll squeeze your chubby frame while you’ll still let me. And I’ll savor this final first.

Because even though the years seem so far away, I know how quickly they will fly. I know someday too soon, you’ll be waving your first goodbye as you leave your mama on a new adventure.

So, if I hold on too tightly, if you catch me staring into those baby blues, please try to understand. I’m not sad, I’m just amazed at the gift God has given me. This is my way of trying to soak in all these final firsts so I’ll never forget.

Happy first birthday to my last-born son. I will love you forever.

if I hold on too tightly, if you catch me staring into those baby blues, please try to understand. I’m not sad, I’m just amazed at the gift God has given me. This is my way of trying to soak in all these final firsts so I’ll never forget

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

Pre-Order Now

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

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

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

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