What Mom did while you were sleeping . . .

If you’re a mom, you’ve crept across a toy littered floor to your child’s bedside to watch your baby sleeping. You’ve smoothed stray locks, wiped warm foreheads, and whispered I love you one more time. Those are savored memories, stowed away treasures.

But our kids have no idea. Most of the time, they sleep right through these moments that only we hold.

The childhood of my daughter, for whom I waited and waited, is beyond precious to me. And like a wonderful novel, I’m constantly balancing between wanting to savor every page and racing to see how it all turns out.

Because someday, she will be an adult and sleeping somewhere else, I wanted to freeze these memories in my heart, for her to know how much I treasure these midnight moments.

Every night while you were sleeping, the last thing I do before bed is kiss you once more.

While you were sleeping . . .

I have kissed your face about 87 million times, conservatively.

I have wished I could hold you one more time without waking you up. And then picked you up anyway.

If kids knew the things moms do while they're sleeping. How many kisses you have slept thru. Click To Tweet

When you were not quite a toddler, I would pick you up and rock you in the glider, trying to memorize the weight of you on my shoulder, the way sleep makes your face even more perfectly angelic.

Sometimes, it didn’t break my heart if you woke up and I got to soothe you back to sleep.

I have cried over how fast your babyhood went and simultaneously celebrated your miraculous growing up.

I’ve held your hands, marveling at your still chubby baby fingers on little girl hands.

I have wished you were still small enough to scoop up and snuggle. And then picked you up anyway again.

While you were sleeping, I’ve heard your murmured voice and listened in on your dreams. Some nights your face has danced with smiles, but others was covered in tears.

I’ve whispered brave words against the monsters and nightmares, Mommy’s right here. You’re safe.

Mom, you've crept across that toy littered floor to your child's bedside to watch them sleeping. But do they know all mom did while they were sleeping?

I've listened to your dreams, picked you up, covered you in brave words against the nightmares. Click To Tweet

I’ve smelled your head: deep breaths of baby, toddler, little girl. Scents of baby powder and lavender were replaced by green apple and watermelon, then cotton candy.

I’ve sung to you. You are a promise . . . you are a possibility and Sunshine, you are my sunshine . . .

You always need more tucking in, because this blanket is thrown one direction, that sheet wrapped around one foot, pillow on the floor.

I’ve taken pictures of the myriad strange ways I’ve found you.

Almost 2, you snaked your hand through the crib slats to reach the hamper, pulling on an additional pair of pajama pants halfway. Then fell asleep, wearing both pairs.

Mom, you've crept across that toy littered floor to your child's bedside to watch them sleeping. But do they know all mom did while they were sleeping?

Once, you scared me to death by not being in your bed; however, I found you in the far corner under it, behind a carefully constructed wall of toy bins.

Perpetually, you sleep like a chalk outline on a detective show. I would need a chiropractor to get out of bed.

Your room magically has been cleaned while you were sleeping.

I’ve reorganized the toys and books that have mysteriously found themselves out and about post-goodnight and wondered about the late-night adventures you were having. Teddy bears wearing costumes sitting with dinosaurs at a picnic or a pile of books next to your nightlight.

I’ve stepped on magic wands, doll high heels (and I thought Legos were bad), and stubbed my toe on a mis-timed step past the glider. Do you know how hard it was not to yell?

Some nights, just needing to share your quiet space, I’ve sat in the glider reading a book, listening to your sweet snores.

But mostly, while you were sleeping . . .

I have prayed over you.

I have prayed for your life, your health, your heart, your salvation. Praying for five minutes more of patience than you have energy, to end everyday with I love you and kisses.

God, make me a better momma. Give me a gentle spirit and a heart to listen to my child. Even when I’m busy, give me joy in each season of motherhood.  

I have thanked God for the blessings of you, how I’ve learned to be a better person through raising you, for the laughter you bring.

Life will break your heart. You will have sickness and tragedy, and someday I’ll leave you, but ultimately, I’ve asked God to work everything that happens in your life for your good, including my failures, praying I’m learning humility and grace fast enough to be the mom I hope you’ll remember.

But mostly, I've prayed for you, ultimately, for God to work all of your life for your good. Click To Tweet

I’ve prayed to watch you grow up, to see you choose faith, a career, to marry, and to hold your babies in my arms.

But there are no guarantees, so I’ll treasure every moment I get and continue to kiss your face and pray while you are sleeping.

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How Motherhood Changed my Perspective on Mother’s Day

My Mother’s Day perspective has completely changed through the challenging and exhilarating moments of motherhood. Each year has added to the fullness of the beauty of mothering.

I’ve learned Mother’s Day is for celebrating BEING a mother. I’ve learned that card company expectations are the enemy of joy, while macaroni necklaces, dandelions, and crayola cards are priceless.

I’ve learned to celebrate the messy work of being a mother.

As my daughter is growing independent, my role is shifting from primarily physical needs to more emotional and spiritual guidance, which is teaching me so many new aspects of motherhood.

Nothing taught me to appreciate my mother more than motherhood itself. #ThanksMom Click To Tweet

Being a mother has taught me to appreciate my mother more with every challenging stage and new accomplishment in my daughter’s life.

Previous years, I’ve focused experiencing Mother’s Day, since motherhood was a long awaited answer to prayer, but as I inscribed my mom’s Mother’s Day card, I was struck by how much I still need to thank her for the million thankless jobs of motherhood.

My Mother's Day perspective has changed through the challenges and exhilarating moments of motherhood over the years. All I can say is thank you, Mom.

Thank you, Mom for reading me a thousand books, some a thousand times, even when you were tired, even when dinner needed cooking. I remember quietly reading about a silly detective with an umbrella and knowing I was loved. I developed a love for stories and words and discovery on your lap.

Thank you, Mom for getting up before we did everyday and making breakfast. We probably complained about the cold cereal one day only to pitch a tiny rebellion the next over oatmeal or scrambled eggs. I’m sorry about the Grape Nuts episode. To be fair, I still think it’s gross. 😉

Thank you, Mom for the hours you put into keeping house without many modern conveniences I take for granted. It was never done, never perfect, and you kept on doing it. Now, you even sometimes come do it at my house.

As I look around the chaos in my living room today, I wonder how you kept everything so spotless despite our efforts otherwise.

Thank you for all the secret tears you must have shed in frustration when we wouldn’t stop arguing, broke your favorite vase; tears cried in hurt when we screamed that’s not fair or I hate you in teen angst, or times you cried from sheer exhaustion.

Thank you for the years of sleep you gave up in the raising of three young ladies, nights you were up until you couldn’t see straight, nights you couldn’t sleep until hearing the door three minutes past curfew.

I may not have understood the sacrifices, but I couldn't miss the love. Thank you, Mom. Click To Tweet

Thank you, Mom for Bible stories and rides to school, swimming, play practices, for all the clothes and formal dresses you quietly stitched in your free time.

Thank you for the million ways you invested in my life, putting aside yourself to develop character in me.

You didn’t get it all right, but neither will I.

While I may not have understood your sacrifices, I couldn’t miss the love.

And I can only hope my daughter will be able to say the same about me someday.

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