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 who is about to leave for college. In another state.
Along the edge of the field, the breeze pulls the green and white balloons in one direction. 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. Maybe that’s how you feel now if your kids are still in that cute and precious stage.
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. 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 six stories every mom should tell.
Mom, you can start collecting these stories now while your child is still young. Then one day, you will be able to give your son or daughter the gift of knowing you.
Tell the Story of Their Birth
Tell the story of their birth and how it unfolded. 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).
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? Tell the story of how you picked your child’s name.
Tell a Story that Reflects Their Strengths
What stories can you recall — of your children when they were young — that clearly point to their strengths?
Tell the Story of How You Met Jesus
Of all the stories we could tell, this is the most important one.
Tell the Story of How You Met Their Dad
Share the story of how you met your child’s father, and how your child is the most beautiful blessing to come from that union. I understand, of course, that 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.
Tell the Story of Your Dreams
Our children might be surprised to learn that we once dreamed of being an astronaut or a veterinarian. Share your dreams with your kids — dreams both past and present.
At the end of the graduation ceremony, 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.