So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

“Mom, can we wake up early tomorrow so you can curl my hair before school?” The night before her first day of high school, my 14-year-old surprised me by asking me to curl her hair. I haven’t been allowed near her hair in years

It’s not often we realize when we are experiencing our last with our children. 

The last time she reaches for your hand. 

The last time he calls you mommy. 

The last time you rock your daughter to sleep. 

The last time you get out of bed in the middle of the night to tuck him into bed after a nightmare. 

RELATED: Because One Day She Will Have To Walk Away

The last time he lays his head in your lap, and you run your fingers through his hair.

The last time you read her a bedtime story. 

But that morning, as I gazed at her through the mirror and curl her hair, I was confident I was experiencing a last moment. 

She hasn’t asked me to help her with her hair since grade school. She’s the girl who’s in high demand during summer camp each year to braid all her bunkmate’s hair. 

Thanks to growing up with an iPhone, she’s been styling her hair far better than I could ever do for as long as I can remember. I often take my cues from her. Whatever straight iron she says is the best, I find myself using after seeing how great of a job she does. 

But that morning, she wanted me to curl her hair. 

Uncertain if I was up to the task, I tried reassuring her she’d do a great job. But she insisted, “No, mom, I want you to do it.”

Only the mom of a daughter growing up too fast (don’t they all?) would understand this moment. 

I doubt it was my savvy hot iron skills she was after that morning. 

Maybe it’s not just us moms who want to hold onto our children’s youth.

My 13-year-old still insists on being tucked in each night before I go to sleep. Even on weekends when I’m ready to retire with a book by 10 p.m., he’ll ask me to tuck him in. After we say our nightly prayers, he’ll follow me out of his room to go back to playing his video games. 

“I thought you were ready for bed? You asked me to tuck you in,” I inquire of him. 

“No, mom. My friends are still up playing Fortnite. I just wanted to make sure you had a chance to tuck me in before you fell asleep,” he says as if he doing me a favor. 

RELATED: To My Child: I Will Lay With You Every Night As Long As You Need

He no longer calls me mama as he did just a short year ago. Every once in a while, he’ll throw in a ma’am when addressing me. 

I try to remember the sweetness of these moments and how I’ll miss even the mundane ones. 

Coming soon are the afternoons when she won’t need me to drive her to sports practice. 

He won’t ask me to make him a snack or his favorite dinner. 

She won’t be home to ask me to watch a show with her while she waits for her friends to be available. 

There won’t be socks lying around the floor covered in dog hair. 

Wet towels will no longer lay in a clump on the bathroom floor when I get out of the shower. 

He won’t need reminders to brush his teeth.

RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer

She won’t need to be yelled at to get out of the shower after using up all the hot water.

The carpool lane will be a thing of our past.

Some of these things we moms nag, yell, and curse over. 

As I curled my daughter’s hair that morning before high school, I wondered if I ever considered styling her hair in the hectic mornings one more thing I couldn’t wait for her to be old enough to do one day? 

Possibly I’m more sentimental since the virus has forced all of us to slow down. As we start life back up again in a modified way, I can’t help but be grateful for the lasts.

Most of our lasts will come and go without us realizing it. But today, I’ll treasure curling her hair. 

Jen Smith

Jen writes at Grace for Single Parents to encourage single moms to live their best life with God’s grace and love. She’s a contributing author for Her View from Home, Grown & Flown, and Sammiches & Psych Meds. She currently lives in Kansas with her two teenagers and two dogs.

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Your Best Is Enough

In: Motherhood
Mom and young boy with backpack

I am my own worst enemy—I forget to let myself off, give myself time, free myself of guilt.  I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am not a superhero.  For the most part, I absolutely love, treasure, and soak up every happy, special, tough, gritty moment of motherhood. I am forever grateful for this journey. But I also feel extremely guilty any time the load builds a little too high. I forget that I too am allowed emotions, time off, and forgiveness.  As a rule, I don’t snap. I am a patient parent. I discuss and I cuddle and I reason...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

I’ll Never Be Ready for My Son To Let Go of Me

In: Motherhood, Tween
Tween boy and mom

The arts-and-crafts tote overflowed with cylinders of petrified Play-Doh, crispy-bristled paintbrushes, and Elmer’s glue bottles with clogged applicator tips. Underneath it sat a stack of spiral notebooks with homework from previous years: simple fractions, facts about fossils and chlorophyll, vocabulary words neatly written on blue lines. Star Wars characters were sporadically doodled in the margins.  None of its contents had been touched in years. Yet, the very second I tipped it upside down into the garbage dumpster—unwittingly blasting a flume of silver glitter into the garage ceiling—I felt deep, aching sadness and enormous regret.  When did fuzzy pipe-cleaners become nostalgia-worthy?...

Keep Reading

To the Emotional Mom of a High School Senior, Enjoy It

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in graduation gown, color photo

Dear moms of high school seniors, I see your posts on social media, and I sense your excitement, mixed with anxiety and a bit of sadness (if we are being completely honest). I notice your photos of all the lasts, and I celebrate your child’s accomplishments with you. I see you, and I know you because I have been you, twice now.  I feel the almost palpable sinking feeling that hits in the pit of your stomach when you think about them moving on to the next stage. How is it possible they have grown from such a tiny, helpless...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections