I scribbled these words on a pad of paper as I drove home the day John Mark went away to college. I still had three children at home, including Matt, who was only five. Yet still, the growing up of my first-born came as a sort of shock to me. How had it happened so fast? But it did, and it does, and we need to remember…

September 1998

Yesterday I took my son to college.

With a quick hug and “See ya at Thanksgiving… maybe,” he turned to

begin the next stage of his life.

Today all I can remember is the past.

Just yesterday, it seems, he was born.

Not squalling and screaming,

but wide-eyed and silently staring at these two strangers who would

love him, and discipline him, and teach him, and wipe away his tears

for the next eighteen years.

I remember the moments.

His hand resting on my breast as I nursed him.

His first flinging steps as he raced from his dad’s outstretched hands to mine.  His squeal as he ran naked down the sidewalk.

I remember the first time he opened his Bible and read it on his own.

Listening as he led his little sister to receive Jesus.

His ear-to-ear grin when he was baptized by his dad.

I remember playing army, dramatically dying, imitating machine gun fire, throwing water filled grenades.

I remember playing hide and seek when he thought no one could see him if he covered his eyes.

I remember matchbox cars in the bathtub and G.I. Joe in my purse.

Melted crayons in the car and rock collections in the washing machine.

I remember skinned knees and stitches, pimples and braces, loud music…and soft serenades on the piano as he waited for the carpool.

Late night talks…and tears.  Silly jokes with no punch line.

Artwork on the fridge.

Eighteen years of memories.

One thing I know now...

one thing I want to pass on to every mother of every little boy...

all that work, the lost sleep, the worry, the spankings, the cooking, the cleaning up of little-boy-messes, the reading and rereading of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, the hours of listening, the carpooling, the cuts and scrapes and trips to the emergency room…

Every moment is worth it.

When you kiss him good-bye, when your job is done,

when you send him off to his future,

you too will remember the moments.  And you will agree…

It was well worth it.

From my heart,


My HeartIntentional Parents