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Dear child,

In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futilebut it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms.

As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace.

There were times in elementary school when you were mad about simply not getting your way. You were tired after staying up the night before or maybe you were having a small surge of hormones or the start of an illness, but you would argue like the best lawyer in town until we would have to shut down the conversation.

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You would wail and wouldn’t let us near for comfort. You’d eventually end up in your room to scream into a pillow, throw some soft things, count to 10, take some deep breaths, etc. But when you were done, you would tiptoe sheepishly back into the room where your siblings, your dad, and I were playing a board game, having a conversation, doing a chore, or were in the middle of a tickle fight.

Without hesitation or a hint of bitterness, we would invite you back into our mix. Even with your eyes still puffy and your face still gaunt from battle, we saw you and your need for your family.

Now that you’re a teen, you get exasperated by lots of things. I say no to an article of clothing, I pick on you lovingly, a sibling gets on your nerves, your evening plans are canceled, and you roll your eyes, stomp your feet, and slam your door.

It’s hard at your age not to allow hormones and emotions to overtake you. Sometimes, they win. There are times I hear you scream, throw things, breathe deep, pray. And eventually, you come find me, ”I’m really sorry, Mom.” I always forgive you. I always welcome you back. I always hold you tight.

When you leave this house, when you go to college or get your own apartment or start your own family, I hope you come back to see us from time to time. I also anticipate walking into your warm space a time or two.

I pray, in those times, that my warm embrace reminds youno matter how old you arethat I will always be your home in a sense, and that you are always, always welcome back. You may or may not wonder why. I’ll tell you.

RELATED: Dear Teenage Daughter, I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You to Come Back to Me

The first reason is because all your life, you’ve always been so forgiving of me. You love me despite my humanness and my need to chronically apologize for things I say and do when I’m overwhelmed.

More importantly, though, we serve a Savior who constantly welcomes us back. When we screw up, He doesn’t recall the past with bitterness or chastise us for bad choices. He moves us forward, knowing that all is forgiven. He frees us.

I want you free, my child, when you start your adult life. No baggage to carry. Only love. Only light. I adore you, my dear child. And I always will.


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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Crystal Fulmer

I am a mother of three biological children and an adopted sibling set of three, a homeschooler, a pastor's wife, a former teacher, and a group-home houseparent. I am a trauma and mental illness survivor. I love to write for encouragement, and I've been finally been convinced to write and publish a book, The Grace of Getting Up, now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, and Westbow Press online bookstore. Please join me on this journey on FB or insta @thegraceofgettingup.

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