The high school band plays the familiar “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates begin their procession. They’re wearing identical caps and gowns, so I strain to find the one I’m here for. The one who made me a mom, eighteen years ago. The one I stayed home with. Every day. Year after year. The one I taught to read. The one I taught to swim. The one I drove to piano lessons and theater rehearsals and youth group.
The one who is about to leave for college. In another state.
On the field below, I notice the way the breeze pulls the green and white balloons in one direction. And that’s how I feel as a mom. Every instinct inside me wants to pull in one direction. I want to preserve each moment and resist this onward march toward the future.
Yet, I also want to embrace this new season the way an artist enjoys a new palette of colors to paint with.
It’s with this curious mixture of joy-for-the-future and nostalgia-for-the-past that I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. And from this mom-heart-place of looking back and looking ahead, I’ve realized six of the most important stories I want my children to know.
They’re stories that happened when my kids were either too young to remember or perhaps not yet born. They’re stories I’ve taken for granted and assumed my kids already knew. They’re six stories every mom should tell.
Six Stories Every Mom Should Tell
1. Tell the Story of Their Birth
For Mother’s Day last month, I wrote the birth story of my oldest child. When my daughter read it, she commented on the parts she had never heard before. Her words surprised me. I assumed she knew all those details. So we shared a long chat over herbal mint tea as I told her more about the day she was born.
If you’ve adopted children, tell the story of how God brought them into your lives. Nothing in all creation is more beautiful than an adoption story, for it echoes God’s heart and the way He has adopted us as His children (Ephesians 1:4-5).
2. Tell the Story of How You Picked Their Name
What process did you go through when you chose your child’s name? Did you pick a name that carries part of your family’s history? Did you select a name that reflects a truth or a person in Scripture?
3. Tell a Story that Reflects Their Strengths
From the moment a child is born, parents observe certain characteristics in their kids. In Hebrews 11:23, it says that “Moses’ parents hid him [from Pharoah] for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child.”
What stories can you recall — of your children when they were young — that clearly point to their strengths?
4. Tell the Story of How You Met Jesus
Of all the stories we could tell, this is the most important one. After reading Bible stories together, let’s also tell the story of how we met Jesus. Let’s talk about the way Jesus continues to transform us into His image a little more every day.
5. Tell the Story of How You Met Their Dad
As husband and wife, we live our story every day. We know the events that brought us together. But our kids need to hear this story too. One of the ways we can honor our spouses and express unity as a couple is to celebrate with our kids the story of how we came together.
I understand that not every story comes straight out of a Disney storybook. Many of us have experienced the pain of broken stories. But when we surrender our brokenness to Christ, our lives become stories of redemption and hope.
6. Tell the Story of Your Dreams
When our children are young, it’s hard for them to imagine that we actually once lived before they were born. It’s like the teacher who meets one of her students in the grocery store. The student is surprised to discover that her teacher exists outside the classroom. In the same way, our children might be surprised to learn that we once dreamed of being an astronaut or a veterinarian. Share some of your dreams with your kids — dreams both past and present.
At the end of the graduation ceremony, the seniors move their tassels from the right side of their caps to the left in a symbolic gesture of completion. If I had a tassel of my own, I’d need to move it too. Because in a way, I’ve also graduated . . . into a new season of motherhood.
I watch as my daughter and her friends toss their white caps into the air, and I breathe another prayer, placing these past eighteen years into the Hands of Him who loves her even more than I do. Then I recall each story I’ve told her, knowing she takes these stories with her, everywhere she goes.
Have you told these stories to your kids?
Have you written any of them down?
Our kids take every story we’ve told them, everywhere they go. <Tweet this!>
I want to embrace this new season the way an artist enjoys a new palette of colors to paint with. <Tweet this!>