About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have and The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room, was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. Oh my, I feel for you girl. My baby, who is also a boy, just turned 27 and where did the time go?! Please treasure the time you have left, as you appear to be. We got so caught up in football and baseball and the endless running that it was, just one day, gone. I wasn’t sure I would survive, quite frankly. God’s grace is always bigger than us, but honestly, that first summer after he graduated was brutal. Thank you Lord for allowing us the time we had with our children at home.

    • I am with you Dodee…my one and only child, a son is 28 years old. We, too, spent many days/evenings at ball fields, basketball courts, and soccer fields and church. Although they are wonderful memories, the time went by so very quickly! I long for more wonderful memories with my son, the young man. But he has little time for mom these days. I still long for my little boy to crawl up on my lap and lay his head on my shoulder and just hug me. It was an extremely difficult adjustment when he left home at 20 to get his own apartment with friends. Brutal is a fitting word. But yes, Praise God, indeed, for the gift of children that he lends to us. They are so very precious.

  2. Melissa,
    I love the words of you momma’s heart toward your boy. My son is 24 and still if you ask him what some of his favorite childhood memories are, he won’t tell you about trips to amusement parks or big summer vacations, though those are all good memories too. What he will tell you about is when he was just little (hard to believe our men-children were ever pint sized), and we would carry our lawn chairs together out to the end of our long driveway. Mine was adult sized; his was pint sized. We would simply sit and “watch the world go by”. No agenda, we’d just sit side by side. We’d look at the cloud formations and try to find shapes. We’d wave to neighbors passing by and see if we could get them to wave back. Sometimes we’d talk about whatever was on his preschool mind. Sometimes we’d tell jokes or funny stories or make funny faces. And other times we just sat side by side in silence…but we were together. This is my son’s most vivid childhood memory. Oh how glad I am that I let the laundry wait and we weren’t always running in the mini-van somewhere. The time does fly…young moms savor the smudgy fingerprints on the front glass door, for they won’t be there for long.
    Loved this post, Melissa…enjoy these years, but remember, even as an adult, you will ALWAYS be His special mom.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I’m boo hooing as the mom of a son who just turned 18 and is headed to college in the fall. Thank you for the reminder to cherish this 18th summer!

      • Monica,
        Yes, cherish it. Ask your son what one of his favorite memories is of you and him together. If you can, re-enact it…..or ask him if the two of you could have a “date”….let him pick what he’d like for you to do. My son likes to golf so I offered to be his “caddy”. Granted I can’t carry his clubs, but I walked the course with him and handed him his clubs and we caught a bite to eat in the clubhouse afterward. Boys/sons are not always good at face to face dialogue. Sometimes you have to walk beside them in order for them to open up. Even though my son is 24 and I don’t see him nearly as often as I would like. He also had to walk a rough prodigal path, but he still gives me big bear hugs and squeezes me extra long. When he does that, I know I’ll always be his mom. It’s a role you never outgrow.
        Blessings to you both this summer….
        Bev xx

        • Thank you, Bev! I love that idea. I’ll ask him for sure, when he wakes up at noon. ☺

          • Monica,

            LOL!!! Love it! One of the first things I got for my son for college was an alarm clock that did everything but pour cold water on his face to get him out of bed for class!! Enjoy!
            Bev xx

    • Thank you! I am exhausted and frustrated often so I needed this.
      -mom of two preschoolers

  3. Oh how my heart filled up and my eyes as I read this. It brought back so many memories of my son who is now 23 years old. I see that little boy smiling at Mummy when I pick him up from school. Just a few days ago he returned from a trip and at the airport that manchild of mine have his Mama a big hug as he approached the car. Letting go is hard but the blessing God allowed us to raise must spread their wings. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Whoa.
    Thank you for these exact words on the morning of a summer in which I’ve graduated one boy and married off another (who is right now on his honeymoon, and I miss him as if he were 9 years old and away at camp). I am utterly astounded (slack jawed) at the passage of time and how few warm seasons we actually have with our boys. Even though I had four of the rowdy creatures, I realized after the first guy got married that I really had all four in my house growing up together for a mere ten years.

    And . . . I’m relieved to find that you were able to re-tool so painlessly, because after four sons and a grandson, I’m looking forward to my first grandgirl in September (and wondering how, exactly, that’s all going to work out . . .).

  5. My son will be 17 June 21:) unfortunately I missed over half of his life So far. But I treasure the fact that God gave Him to me in His own timing. When he came to our home at age 9 for one week of respite care, who would have ever guessed how God would work the impossible?! We weren’t even an option to adopt him. .. but I loved him so much that when he was with me 2 months or so he spilled some terrible horrors that happened to him in his life. Things he never told anyone else in any of the previous homes he was in. I loved him so much that at about 7 weeks or so he said, ‘mom, can’t I stay here? Can’t you adopt me?’ So we prayed for God’s will. And God in His infinite wisdom somehow saw fit to bless us with this priceless treasure of a son at age 10. I feel so blessed to be called his mother! I feel strong ties as he is my own just as my birth children are. What a treasure! BUT o I want to hang on! To treasure And protect him! But in God’s timing I will learn to let go. Right now my son still needs me greatly. …I will treasure the moment:)

  6. Melissa, I so feel your heart! I too was gratefully aware of taking in each moment with my 3, and with each, the mark of only 4 more summers was spoken aloud and treasured. I used this mark too with each to begin a scrapbook which was presented to them the summer of graduation because I wanted them to know I was watching and storing up every moment of growing. This saying goodbye doesn’t get easier. I’m reminded once again as I welcome my oldest home from China in a couple of weeks, to take in every moment of this summer because I’m going to have to say goodbye again. Blessings to you in this transition…what a blessing to be given these mama hearts!

  7. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy all the time we have left with my boys. They are 9 and 12 now and yes time does fly bye. With awful attitudes last night during a dinner out I let in to them about negative attitudes, the complaining and arguing they did how unpleasant it was. After that they quieted down on the ride home thinking about how their negative behaviors effected them and Mom and Dad. I hope we have more fond memories to look back upon instead of negative memories… I never looked at only have 18 summers with them. Thankfully, the Lord provides and I work part time in the school kitchen so I have summers off. Summers are not easy with two fighting boys all the time, but I hope to change that with more get togethers with other children and Mamas. I will always remember your quote of “Only having 18 summers with our boys”.” Thank you for the reminder… I pray God grants us his grace and mercy when we have negative moments and he teaches us how to change that around to positive moments and love and grace. Blessings to you…

  8. Thank you for sharing this. My son will be three in August and I try to cherish every moment. I miss him being a newborn already and know time will continue to pass by. I thank God every day for him and to help me be the best mother I can be. Please pray for me to continue to be a loving, kind, and patient mother! Thank you.

  9. Melissa,

    Children seem to grow up so fast. Time is passing ever so quickly as we age. Hard to believe those young children at church are now adults. Some are married, one has child & two just graduated high school. I remember youngster running around the church. Treasure the time you have with your little ones. It goes quickly!

    Blessings 🙂

  10. My son was also born on June 21st., also my third child, and also our first son ( although not the last ) ! He will be 29 in a few days’ time, but I would like to encourage all those mums out there who have sons who have gone astray, like mine when he was only 13 years old. We endured many painful years, bucketfuls of tears and prayers, although he still kept in touch, and the bond between us was never broken. Miraculously, he gave his life back to God a couple of years ago, so never give up hope and never give up praying. Prayer is THE most important part we can play in our children’s lives; through prayer God can reach our children and do great and marvellous works far above all that we could ask or think. Make the most of every moment you have with them; none of us knows what the future holds, but we do know WHO holds the future.

    • Our son was just a hard little boy to raise. At 15 he rebelled, has lived a really hard life. He has battled an addiction to ADD meds that have caused a lot of poor, crazy decisions. We won’t allow him to live at home, and he is close to homeless. Living in someone’s garage right now. Can’t seem to find a job. Please pray for him to break, and turn to God

    • Thank you Esther for reminding me that prayer is the most important thing that we can do for our children. I have two sons… both in their early 20’s… I used to say that God gave me twins almost 2 years apart because He knew I couldn’t handle them both at the same time going through all the ages and stages of life. Now, one is still living at home, but working and becoming increasingly independent. The other went off to college a few years back and has been working his way through … taking classes and working … sometimes for a semester or two in between… all year round away except for a weekend here or there. And now he is transferring to another school in another place to pursue his dreams and another work opportunity. But he is my prodigal and oh how the tears do flow. The 18 summers went by in the blink of an eye for both of my sons… one born in the summer … the other in the fall. And I stand looking back in wonder … and joy… and sadness… and a bittersweet mix of all that life is. But I needed to hear that my prayers still matter. Thank you Esther.

  11. Melissa,
    This was such a sweet, and touching sentiment to your son.
    The time does go quickly. I’m so grateful for my boys, the times we’ve shared, and that their sister was placed in the middle to balance them all.

    Have a blessed day all,

    Penny

  12. Thank you for sharing your heart. My three sons are now grown…my baby turns 21 June 16 and is recently married . Time passes by so quickly and we need to cherish each moment. This is our first summer as empty nesters but our children all visit and our 2 grandsons fill our home with noisy boy play and laughter. Life’s seasons change but the love between a mom and her children is eternal.

  13. Wow…thank you for the words I needed to connect me to my heart this morning. I never truly understood this bitter sweet challenge of motherhood until lately. My oldest, a daughter, is heading off to a prestigious college this fall, my son is 12, and I am 4 months pregnant with our newest blessing. (Forget the “empty nest” days in this house! Lol) And never before have I truly understood this message of treasuring the time that is left, and even more so trying to grasp how my Lord loves them more than me!! But He does. As I pray for the little developing one inside me and the one who is grown and flying the coop, to the one in the middle blissfully and miraculously still my little boy in so many ways, I realize every day I could never, ever do this heart melting and heart wrenching role with out Him! No one else understands the sheer vulnerability and undeniable covenant of this kind of love. Oh our Mama hearts. How delicate and strong they are all at the same precise moment.

  14. Treasure the time you have with Loved ones. This brought back so many memories and tears of my Son. He is Home in Heaven with our Savior. I will see him again. He was only 19 when he died. I treasure the time and memories i had with him. He was such a Blessing to me a special gift from God.

    • I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious son, Cathy. I cannot imagine the pain you must still feel, mixed with the comfort of knowing where he is! What a joyous reunion that will be for you, praise God for that! Praying for your tender heart tonight.

  15. Melissa, this post today summed up all of my feelings and emotions for my life right now. Our son turns 18 today, we don’t have four more years. He also graduates high school on Saturday. The similarities are a little unbelievable…I shared your post on my Facebook timeline because you write so well and have captured this time so poignantly. Thank you. I pray you make the most of the next four years with your boy.

    • Thank you, Christine! This post was actually written two years ago, so now I have only two summers left! My how time flies, doesn’t it? Congratulations to you, dear mama, on this achievement and huge accomplishment!

  16. Love, love, love my son. He is now 40, and he will always be my baby!! He has a wonderful wife, and the good news is, I get to experience it again with two sweet grandsons. Time passes by so quickly, and I am so thankful for all the good memories. Thank you for the sweet reminder.

  17. So many sweet memories shared which brought back some memories of my son. I remember when he said “when I grow up, I’m going to marry you.” Still brings a smile. Yes, time does go by so fast while just living life. We had many good times together but also terrible struggles from 15-17. Thankfully, with much prayer, he turned his life around. On 6-20 it will be 11 yrs since he was killed while serving as a Marine in Iraq. I love the stories I hear from people who knew him. I remember talking to him about being gone and the empty nest. He quickly assured me that I’ll always be his mom and that he’ll always need me. Sweet words I treasure. I always said he was a gift from God.
    Hug tight and laugh a lot…praise God for the time we had to be their mom.

    • Oh, my heart burst into a million little pieces for you. I’m so sorry for your loss, Kat. Thank you for sharing your heart, your tender story and those gentle reminders to hug tight, laugh a lot and praise God for the time we have.

  18. Yes, those childhood memories are precious, whether we are mom’s to girls or boys. Our daughters are 24 and 20 this month, both still living at home while they finish college. I know the days they will still be home are numbered, so I treasure the little moments here and there. I also treasure the moments with their boyfriends, whose mamas each are sad that their boys are grown men, but SO glad for the great young men they have become! For 4 years I have watched as these young people transition from childhood to adulthood, and pray for God’s blessings and for their faith to continue growing.

  19. Praying for all of you! God cradles our kids and our hearts, holding both close to his. My son is my middle, standing now on the edge of his 21st summer. Sandwiched by sisters, he was my “easy” child, smart, smiley, busy and happy. My kids and I are close, and I’ve always been grateful for the sweet times we’ve shared, the way our hearts have connected. My son has struggled deeply these past couple years, and was recently diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. I pray this 21st summer is where healing begins. I know empty nest, and I know broken wings, and I know the God who is Lord of it all. He cradles our kids and our hearts. We are loved.

  20. So timely! Thank you! I drop my oldest off at camp on Sunday and I am already worried about how to “release” him! Thankful the Lord goes before him, beside him, and behind. I loved this- so true!

  21. I know what you mean. My son has grown up graduated high school in college. We have had many hurdles along the way, but than God that my son now appreciates what I did for him, not fully but a little. As he grows and matures he will see the whole scope of things that he never appreciated as a little lad. Its exciting terrifying and many other feelings, and the hardest part is letting him be the person he is.

  22. This is beautiful! I’m grateful for the experiences you’ve had. Continue to cherish them and never take them for granted. I have 3 sons by adoption and remarriage. Two have been so traumatized but life that relationship is always a struggle for them. Relationship for them means pain. They are talented, smart, handsome, and very loved. They see little of that. Life is hard. I’ve experienced little of what you write. But God is so faithful, and I count my blessings by days where relationship has brought smiles both ways. Cherish what you have. Never take it for granted.