Did you happen to read the popular article, “The Mom Stays in the Picture,” by mom Allison Tate at The Huffington Post? It’s a really touching post about how important it is that moms—no matter that they may be wearing maternity clothes a few months postpartum or routinely skip mascara and lipstick—get in the pictures with their children. It’s important that our kids look back on photos and see their moms living real life with them.
Allison’s post got me thinking about my own patients—the kids I’ve heard from during more than twenty-five years of practicing medicine—and I know Allison’s right. If we moms asked our kids, they’d tell us to get in the picture.
Every mother needs to hear from her kids because what they say about their moms is a far cry from what we believe they need from us. I decided to take my patients’ words and use them to create a letter from eight-year-old “Josh” to his mom.
I hear you talking about going on a diet, but please don’t. I don’t get why you don’t want to eat lasagna with me and Dad. I wish you would because I like it when we eat the same thing. Eating lasagna together makes me feel like I’m a grown-up like you. Eat stuff, Mom, because you’re nicer to hug when you’re squishy.
I also love it when you let me come in your room at night. Dad hates it, I know. That’s why I crawl on the floor to your side of the bed. I hope he doesn’t hear me. But I want to thank you for letting me crawl in the bed next to you or for putting a sleeping bag under your side of the bed. And the pillow, too.
Our house just seems so big sometimes, and I get scared. It’s hard for me to go to sleep when I’m so far away from you. I know that you and Dad work hard to get us such a big house, but sometimes I wish you wouldn’t. I wish that you could be with me more and not work so hard. If you work too hard you might die and I really, really don’t want that. Every time my teacher reads a story about someone dying or what heaven’s like I get worried about you Mom. So please don’t die soon.
The other thing is, Mom, that I hear you talking to Lisa and tell her that you are sad a lot. Am I bad? I don’t like you sad either because then I feel all shaky on the inside. But since I’m a guy like Dad, I don’t want anyone to know. I’m not supposed to feel shaky inside. So please don’t be sad, Mom. I love you.
Do you ever think about me during the day? Like when I’m at baseball practice do you ever want me to be home with you? Sometimes I hope you do. Baseball’s OK and I like the baseball shoes you got me, but sometimes I don’t want to go. Sometimes I just want to be home in the kitchen with you. What’s wrong with me? I know you and Dad tell me that I’m a fast runner but I don’t care about that sometimes. There’s lots of fast guys on my team. The other day I was running fast to third base and I kept wondering what you were making for dinner. Then I wanted to be making it with you.
You are a really good cook, Mom. I especially love your meatloaf and your spaghetti with those little meatballs inside. But I’m most happy because you are such a good baker. Tommy’s mom is horrible. She made blueberry muffins that he brought to school, and they were terrible. Yuck. But your muffins are great. I like eating muffins with you.
And your brownies, Mom, are the best! Wow! I heard you talking to Aunt Delia the other day and you told her something bad about your brownies. You said that you should be making them different—like from scratch? Why would you scratch a brownie, Mom? The thing is, I don’t care how you make them. They can be from a box, you can scratch them or even buy them at the store. I just want to sit in the kitchen and eat them with you.
On November 1, I’ll be giving away a special prize package for mom’s mind, body, and soul. When you leave a comment on any post with the “Strong Mothers, Strong Families” badge, you’ll be entered to win this prize, featuring Meg Meeker books, Vicks Behind the Ear Thermometer, Cookbooks from $5 Dinners.com by Erin Chase, a six-month lunch and dinner subscription to Emeals.com, an envelope system and set of kids’ books from DaveRamsey.com, books and CDs from Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, Tell Your Time from Amy Lynn Andrews, and other awesome products!
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