It was a bad day for both of us. 

The reasons were mostly inconsequential. 

Work was stressful. 

Middle school is stressful. 

Change is hard for both of us. 

He just ended a sports season and school is winding down. I was getting ready for another change up in health and schedule with many unknowns. All of these are mostly good things, but the changes and shifts are hard. 

We were both tired. 

Our kids are all too aware of the stresses we carry on our shoulders and our hearts. Even when we don’t share them. 

Parents are all too aware of the growing pains our kids are experiencing in their minds and their daily lives. Even when they don’t express them. 

But we both saw them. 

We saw each other. 

We have been living in a season of unknowns.  

We don’t know the answers, because the questions still linger in the air above us. 

We weren’t dealing as well as we should of. 

So, it was a bad day for both of us. 

Instead of speaking of the real stuff we are living with, we dwelled on the inconsequential. Both of us felt unheard. So hurtful words were spoken. Tears were shed. We were on our way somewhere and turned around and came home. 

Later. Hours later. After I had loaded some laundry, and the floors had been vacuumed he came to me and told me to look on my bed. I told him I would soon. 

But then I loaded the dishwasher. I swept the floors. I showered his sister, and tucked her in. Somewhere in that time he told me goodnight. And I hugged him. But I still had things to do. 

Later I went in my room, and washed my face and brushed my teeth and I saw a box on my pillow…

Dear Mom, 

Today was kinda rough on all of us. Especially on you. I made this list to hopefully cheer you up! 

Love, Daniel 

101 reasons why I love you 

Start each note with: I love you because…

I opened up the box to sheet after sheet of paper of reasons why he, my beautiful son, loves me. Even after the day we’d had, he found a way to tell me all the things…

As I read through the small carefully cut strips of paper I felt big tears fall down my cheeks. Some were tears of regret, why didn’t I just go look when he asked? Right then? Why do we always let our “day to day” stuff get in the way of the “what really matters” stuff? 

Some were the happy tears, I’m so happy I get to be his mom, on the good and the bad days. 

And some were tears of relief, that no matter how much goes on, no matter what the future holds…this is what he knows is true about him relationship with me, his mother. He knows that I love Him. 

After I read through each slip, and then I read them again…I wiped my eyes and went and kneeled next to his bed. I watched  his chest rise and fall with each breath and I thanked God for this child. 

This child who has taught me more about God than any other person. This child who challenges me and loves me even when I fall short as a parent. I hugged him as he slept, and prayed that he would  exhale out the long hard day, and inhale the grace of a God who has even more reasons that he loves us. Millions of reasons to love him. Boxes and boxes, and lists and lists. 

But sometimes we forget. 


Sometimes we just need to be reminded. The next morning I woke him up telling him  many of the reasons I loved him. And I told him it was one the of best gifts anyone has every given me. 

I’ve read the sheets of paper multiple times the last few days. It’s amazing how much  these little sentences have meant each time. I’ve read them over and over. Before my surgery. And now as I recover. And it’s been a good reminder that while I was busy trying to get it all right, they still saw Me. They see my love. They see the best parts of me. What I want them to always know. And to always remember. 

I need to focus more on that. On them. 

And I’ve realized I need to focus more on the things I am grateful for in my life. This little life so blessed by God on the beautiful days, and long days. They far outweigh the hard stuff. I need to write out them daily. I need to say them out loud. They don’t need to be boxed. But I need to remember them. So my kids know. So they remember too. 

I’ll start now. 

1. I am grateful for the box next to my bed, and the words it contains. 

2. And I am thankful for my Daniel…
to god be the glory. K