April 13, 2011

notes to my children:

Don’t forget to feel
and then move on
if things don’t go the way
you thought they should go.
Sometimes what you want isn’t even what you wanted

Open doors for girls.
Or better yet,
open doors for anyone and everyone
coming through.


Your brother will be your best friend,
if you let him.

Don’t pass up chances to go to far-away places
even if it doesn’t seem like the right time.

Marry someone who likes
so many
of the very same things
you like.


You need to trust your heart-gut,
it speaks to you.
It is a true voice
that can keep you
safe from danger
and lead you to great things.

You were made for those great things,
like laughing or changing your corner of the world.

There are dreams in your heart
and you’ll surely forget them sometimes
so circle back
and uncover them
because they are only yours
and they never totally
leave you.

What is the one thing you can
know for sure?
You will always belong
with me, with us,
we’re a belonging family.

Some feelings
are really hard to feel.
Feel them anyway.

Eat things that don’t come from a box or a plastic bag
most of the time,
eat things that come from say…the earth or a tree.


Smoking really is as bad for you as they say it is
and even though you’ll think you’re invincible
for many
many years,
if you smoke, you will feel it and you will smell.

I want to say
everything in moderation now,
but you come from a long line of people
who don’t do moderation well at all.
So just,
be careful.


Gossiping is gross,
you’ll feel that in your heart-gut,
I guarantee it.
And anyway,
you can like just about anyone
as long as you lay your self-righteousness aside.

I don’t really care if you’re good at algebra
and that’s not just because
I’m not either,
but because I think your brain’s energy
is better spent elsewhere,
like on words of poems
or other things that have
more potential
to stay in your

But maybe that’s just me.
Lots of things are just me.
I love most the things that are just you.

Forgive me for all the times
I have and will fail you.
The truth is, I’m learning
as I go
but that never changes
how much I wish I could
always do right by you.

Grace is what keeps us all
and it’s free
which is the same for its source,
The love of God.
The love from your fellows.
Give it freely and accept it freely
because you are what love is for,
to get it and to give it to others.

Speaking of others,
learn early that there are no “other” people.

We really are all the same.

So get to know people for all that they are,
not just in parts.
Not everyone will look like you
or act like you
or think like you
or believe like you
but it just isn’t your job
to judge all of that.
It’s your job to love.

Keep the best of friends
like a chain around your neck,
soft and light and connected.

Choose forgiveness.

Turn a whole lot of things over
with your sense of humor,
and then learn to be serious
when life or someone you love
asks you to be.


Wrap yourself up in the deepest thoughts
and feelings
and fears
and dreams
of someone else.
Listen to them.
Really listen.
You’ll find the best parts of yourself
in what you learn through
the stories of others.

What’s yours is his and his and hers and hers and his.
And anyway,
you can always
have too much stuff.
Give it away,
without much thought.


Be the one that says,
I’ll help!

You don’t have to DO faith perfectly,
but have as much as you can.
You see,
there is a great union at work
between you
and your Maker.
Should you seek it with an open heart,
you will find rest and freedom
from the parts of yourself
that scare you the most.

Do the next right thing. Don’t leap before grace. Let go. Surrender. Float.


Be kind and mean it.

Get your hands dirty.
Work so hard
that you are bone weary,

Protect. Seek justice. Fiercely fight for the underdog.


Think about good things,
the good things about you
and the people you love
and your life.
Think more about these things
than you think of anything else.

The truth is always the best option.

You are like a treasure,
the kind a farmer
might find hidden in a field
after miles and miles of
You are that priceless
and unexpected
hidden among the weeds,
the thistles and the bugs.
A shocking piece of art,
sitting on an easel in the sun
amidst the corn.

Ignore all the rest
if you must,
it’s not everything anyway;there’s just so much to know.
But please know that last part
the very most.
Everything else follows
the knowledge
of your treasure-worth
So know it. Please know it.


I love you.


lynsey April 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

well my dear, thank you for helping me to release some tears on a random wednesday, around noon. that was beautiful, i needed it!

Ali April 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Absolutely love this. Thank you. Especially love the sentiment of a “belonging family.”
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KELLY V April 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Love this Heather, just beautiful!

Natalie April 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Beautifully written… And a sentiment I feel every mother hopes to teach her child. This should be printed and framed in every home.

Thank you so much for sharing.
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Sarah @ For the Love of Naps April 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Just perfect. Love this. I want to stick it in my boys baby books and tell them I wrote it! Haha! But I won’t. I am going ot link it up so friends come read it though. It really says it all!
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Karen April 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Wow, this is very powerful. I want to give it to my son and tell him someone else said it much better than I could.
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Erika April 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Wow! This speaks to me in so many ways. Thank you for sharing this!

Kris April 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Absolutely beautiful and profound…Thank you so much!
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Liz April 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

somehow this is something I needed to hear today too. beautiful
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anymommy April 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Love the verse that begins “you are a treasure…” xo.
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Kim April 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Loooooove this.
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Heather April 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Hi you. I’m just trying to learn wordpress things and want to make sure that my replies are received via email…
can you let me know if you got this? heh. Thanks, friend.

Kendra April 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I LOVE this! Found you thru Ali Edwards’ blog. May I post this in my own home? It so applies to my boys but I am no writer.

PS – where did you find those fabulous Lego boxes in your April 7th post?

Thank you.
I’ll be back.

Heather April 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Hi Kendra,
Thank you so much!
Of course. Feel free to post this in your home. What an honor.
And the Lego box is from a garage sale, actually. I’m not sure where to find them–I recently looked because someone else asked, but I wasn’t able to find it online. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!


Kendra April 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

Cool! Thank You.

And Thank you for answering~:)

Ziska April 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Today is my father’s birthday. He’s been dead for over 20 years, but I felt him speak to me through your words. Thank you for that. What a beautiful birthday gift!

Annette April 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

This sounds like a post that just spilled out. I like this and I am smiling.

Candy April 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Oh Heather, this is simply wonderful. Tears, lovely tears. Thank you.
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hannah April 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

beautiful. wow.
this is my prayer for my son. you’ve inspired me to write it down. thanks!
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Heidi Ashworth April 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Golly, so many incredible gems in here. What a heart you have.

suburbancorrespondent April 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Favorite parts: “It’s your job to love” and “Choose forgiveness.” What a sweet way to pass on life’s accumulated wisdom! Just make sure they read it before they are teens and know everything.
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Corinne April 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Oh Heather…. such good stuff here. I can’t really fully read it because my eyes are too blurry… but even with the funny things coming out of my eyes {ha, tears…} know that this is where it’s at. Lovely.
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cheairs April 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Heather…I swear I read your words and then I can not even find the words to write a comment. Your words are just beautiful. My daughter is only five years old, but I want to save this post so that she can read it one day…thank you for sharing your beautiful gift of writing with the world!!
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Amanda April 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Awesome! beautifully written.

Andi r April 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

LOVE THIS!!! I’m printing it and putting it in my son’s baby book, he is only 15 mo old, i want him to read this on day. I’m also going to link it with my blog. Awesome!

workinprogress April 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Just Bravo. If you could see me I would be standing up and clapping… and crying.
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Tracie April 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

This is so very beautiful (and some of it was things that I needed to be reminded of today, so thank you for that).

I have tears of the most lovely kind reading this.
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Elaine April 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm

At some points during this I kinda felt like you were talking to me too. Whether you meant it that way or not. I’m guessing you didn’t but no matter… I may print this out and read it to my kids. It’s just amazing Heather. xo
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Cynthia April 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I loved the whole thing! I especially needed to hear this part tonight:

“Gossiping is gross,
you’ll feel that in your heart-gut,
I guarantee it.
And anyway,
you can like just about anyone
as long as you lay your self-righteousness aside.”

I have a little grudge against someone and it DOES reside in self-righteousness (a trait I hate and try to avoid and I’m wearing it without even realizing it!) Thanks for pointing that out so I can do better!

LisAway April 14, 2011 at 2:14 am

Wise and beautiful. I love it.
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krista April 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

so beautiful. maybe the best letter to one’s kids i’ve ever read.

trish van pilsum April 14, 2011 at 8:02 am

I will never write words wiser than these.

Molly Kelash April 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

.This was what I love best about your writing – the poetic, lyrical flow and ebb. But this is also such a heartwrenching wish, a gift of your hopes and experience for your children, that it made me cry. This is very special – your children are lucky to have such a mother.

Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) April 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

Loved this. Gossiping IS gross.
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Joy April 14, 2011 at 8:24 am

If only I could internalize and live this every day myself.
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Jen @ Momalom April 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

Lovely. Something to post on the fridge until it is worn and tattered and taped together and sticky with fingerprints.


“Keep the best of friends
like a chain around your neck,
soft and light and connected.”

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Jamie @ Six Bricks High April 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

Oh my! I seriously loved this! You are so right, gossip is gross. I think this is one I will print and read over and over.
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alita April 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

This touched my heart Heather in such a way that I doubt I’ll ever forget it. And I mean that!
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JC April 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

So very wonderful.
“Do the next right thing.” — I think those words have saved me many times. Can’t believe I’ve never thought to pass it on to my children.

Cathy @ All I Want To Say April 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I think I will print this out and hang it on the wall at my desk. And share with my boys.
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erin from swonderland April 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

love this heather. i love your voice and your heart and the way you put it out there.

Sara Sophia April 15, 2011 at 2:10 am

You said all of it.
Thank you.
Somewhere in those eloquent words scattered artfully up there,
is my Mother heart.
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Kristenkj April 15, 2011 at 5:05 am

I just totally and completely loved this. I was going to comment with something profound, but I simply can’t find anything to say that will match how much I loved this.

You know you’re going to have to write one for your little girl when she’s born, right? :)
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Sabrina April 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Heather, This is seriously so lovely and touching!
I really think it needs to be published somewhere!
Thanks for posting it!
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Deidre April 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Heather, I’m delurking because I simply must tell you how beautiful and moving this is. Your writing is always lovely, but never more so than this. I want to share this with my kids. Thank you for sharing with your readers.

Rae April 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I’m so glad I clicked over from “The Run a Muck”! Your poem spoke to this mama’s heart. Thanks.

Heather April 17, 2011 at 7:21 am

Well, thank you for coming by and saying so! :) Nice to meet you, Rae.

tc April 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

Absolutely lovely! Thanks.

tc April 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

Absolutely lovely! Thanks!

Kelly Sauer April 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

Beautiful, Heather. I have tears in my eyes. I am saving this.

Also, I LOVE your new look!
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Lara April 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm

This was beautiful, Heather. What a wonderful mother you are, and what wonderful boys you have.

Zakary April 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm



Kimberly VanderHorst April 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I’m heart-full and wordless now.
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Jo@Mylestones April 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

You have blown me away and straight to tears. I love this. So much.
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Lesa April 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm

oh my, so nice to read.

Ann's Rants April 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm

When I got this in my inbox I thought I’d read it before. I just came back to read it, and now I think it’s all new.

So even if I have read it before, it is still new.

And beeeeauuuutifulll.
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Jamie April 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm

my most favorite post of all posts anywhere, ever. wow!!

Karen Duggan April 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm

This deserves to be distributed at large. Like in maternity wards at hospitals and such. Required reading for parents. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!

Dana K April 20, 2011 at 8:35 am

I absolutely love this.
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Anti-Supermom April 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

stunning, somehow that doesn’t sound adequate enough though
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Suebob April 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You are a wonder. That is so beautiful.
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pgoodness April 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Lovely. Perfect. (um, can I pretend I wrote it for my boys? hehe – kidding!)

Kate April 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Your words. Leave me with none.

Wanderlust April 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

This is just exquisitely…beautiful. I teared up reading this. I clicked through from a link on Twitter and so glad I did. Gorgeous, gorgeous writing and gorgeous soul.
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CC May 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

That was beautiful!!

MemeGRL August 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Please make this a children’s book. Thank you.

Heather August 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I want my kids to be able to have these words and I hadn’t even thought of a children’s book…hmmmm….


Thank you.

Kate September 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I love these words. I cried laughed and then cried again. Thanks for sharing.
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campbell c. hoffman May 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I have this saved and come back to it every once in a while because it is just that moving, and beautiful, and true. It kills me every time in the very best way. Thank you for your gift.
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Heather May 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

oh wow. you have no idea how much it means to hear that. Thank you for telling me.
p.s. you have the coolest name: I like to just say it a few times, campbell c hoffman…

Amy of While Wearing Heels July 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm

What an incredibly beautiful post. The ease in which you simply stated your hopes, your wishes, your beliefs, is what is truly beautiful and relate-able. I hope my daughter meets boys like yours, who will open doors for her :)

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