You never know the last.

One day you don’t get to pick the hair bows or the hair styles anymore. Not the coordinated outfits or the wardrobe.

Before you blink, the choice becomes theirs.

Eventually you’re folding laundry and the loads get heavier and the little clothes get less little. Just like that mental load gets heavier.

And like those long snuggles becomes short ones, and eventually – as they often do – become history.

Then everyone grows and leaves home. And soon enough, you’re rediscovering new, lighter loads of laundry.

You probably won’t even recognize your daughter through her ever-evolving hair colors and her not-trendy-to-you style.

Even when we know it’s coming, we don’t know for sure when the last time will be.

The last time you see their natural hair. The last time you’ll coordinate the perfect oufit or event. The last time they ask your permission. Or, that last load of laundry.

But one of those times, it will be.

One day, it gets less about you and what you can do for them. It will become more about them and what they can do without you. About who they can be on their own.

You’ll watch them fail and try again. You’ll watch them grow into the complex people they are becoming. You’ll see really bad outfit choices, trends and more that the kid probably won’t ever come back from.

But it won’t be your choice.

As mothers we lead them to their choices so that we can let them make it, even when we don’t want to.

All we can do is hope that through all the choices they’re bound to make – they always choose you.

So, take a lot of pictures, these outfit choices should be booked. Don’t sweat the bows, let them be who they’re going to be.

Don’t lose it in the laundry, it won’t be like this for long. Because even when you think you know it’s coming, you never really know when that last time will be.

-Wallflower Writing

Anxiety.

Anxiety is sitting forever in a bathroom stall at work because you’re so trapped inside your head that you literally can not come back out.

It’s knowing you cannot get a grip even if you try, but still wading through it like you matter.

Anxiety is driving past your destination because you’re afraid of what will greet you at the door, even when you wanted to be there.

It’s fluffing around the front yard of the party until you’ve really convinced yourself that you’re good enough to be there.

Anxiety is having big plans and even bigger dreams but not being able to ask the first question, without assuming your burden on the world.

It’s being in a box inside a world that is so clearly spherical.

It’s grey hair and scrunched up wrinkles from a lifetime of ruthless worry – with no end in sight.

Anxiety is a loving heart and casting an open net, but a botched up brain that says: 

“Close the gates.” 

It’s knowing all my flaked-out plans means people might not come back for me, but sweating – hoping that they do.

It’s knowing that I say “I’m sorry” too much and that I ask too many questions.

It’s not being able to stop living my life with paranoia.

Anxiety is “I have tried to change.” This is who I am, and I am asking you:

Please, love me anyway.


by Kailyn McMahon

August 2019