Mother’s beautiful post about how life goes too fast goes viral

“When did I last wash her hair?” starts the beautiful reflective piece that has now been shared over 350,000 times.

“When did I last wash her hair?” starts the beautiful reflective piece that has now been shared over 350,000 times. Hannah Keeley is a mother of seven and had an epiphany one night: she realised she hadn’t washed her daughter’s hair for a while. In fact, she couldn’t remember the last time.

What she wrote next is so poignant for any parent or grandparent:

“I thought it was a night like any other night. I was folding the laundry on my bed, listening to my daughter sing her heart out in the shower. Then my throat tightened and I felt panic set in. When did I last wash her hair?

I ran to the bathroom and opened the door so I could yell inside, ‘Katie, do you need any help washing your hair?’

Her reply brought tears to my eyes, ‘No, Mama. I’m fine.’

I’ve always tried my best to appreciate every day with my seven children. There has been a motto I’ve lived with in parenting ever since I had my first child: Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow. I just didn’t know tomorrow would come so soon.

I’m a firm believer in kids playing hard and getting dirty. And my two oldest daughters sure did that. Every day, they were out in the Arizona sunshine–climbing, digging, swinging, and getting very, very dirty. Children have to get dirty. It’s a universal law. And I’m not about to tamper with universal law.

But with dirt, comes baths. I remember when my two oldest daughters, Kelsey and Katie, would take baths together. I would wash their hair, then let them play in the bathtub for awhile. It was our routine. Then they got older. Baths turned into showers, but I was still there to come in and help them wash their hair. Then the hair washing turned into just helping them rinse out the shampoo. Then the rinsing turned into the occasional, “let’s go back in the shower and I’ll help you rinse that one spot on top of your head.”

Then came, “No, Mama. I’m fine.”

Here’s the deal with motherhood: It’s our job to raise independent kids; but no one tells you how to handle it when it really happens.

That night, it happened.

I thought back–When was the last time? When was the last moment I rinsed the shampoo out of her hair? Why didn’t I know it was the last time? If I would have known, I would have done a better job, or made it last longer, or kissed her head, or something.

I would have done something!

I couldn’t see the laundry anymore because the tears blurred my vision. But I kept folding. Folding and praying. ‘God, help me remember how quickly this is going by. Help me appreciate every single day–even the hard ones. Show me the beauty in each moment–even the bad ones.’

The cure isn’t to slow down. That’s impossible. The cure is a heart of wisdom. The wisdom to know that broken dishes, stained clothes, and spilled food are never reasons to lose your temper. The wisdom to know that school assignments can always be done later, after the sun sets and the mud puddles have all dried up. The wisdom to know that every moment is a sacred moment–changing diapers, snuggling on the sofa, swinging at the park, even washing hair. They’re all sacred, if you can just slow down enough to see it.

There will be a last fort with chairs and blankets. There will be a last story before bed. There will be a last outfit put on a Barbie doll. There will be a last swing at the park. We don’t need to know when the last one will be. We just need the heart of wisdom to appreciate each one.

I took a little longer brushing her hair tonight. And I lingered as I put her hair into a single braid down her back. When I kissed her goodnight, it lasted a couple more seconds than usual. Because after seven children and years of thinking I had all the time in the world, I realized something. life will run off with you if you let it. Sometimes, you just have to stop and breathe it in.

Thank you, God, for braids before bedtime. Thank you for messy kitchens and legos on the floor. Thank you for noisy dinner times and late-night conversations, for forts, baby dolls, fingerpaint, and bedtime stories. Thank you for broken wrists and shampoo for brunettes. Thank you for teaching me to number my days. And, God, when I forget, please give me a nudge and number them for me.”

via Love What Matters

Tell us your thoughts below…

  1. Life does go very quickly, it seems like only yesterday I chasing my son around the yard, he had a dog, it was half poodle and half rabbit I think, it was the cutest dog and they used to bounce together on the trampoline in the yard. He is 43 years old now and for the life of me I can’t think how 40 years slipped past without me noticing

    • Those years have flown by so quickly. Rushing daughter to dancing and piano lessons. Son to sports, band practise and gigs. Dropping off at school, going to work, picking them up. I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it. But I’m just pleased that I have raised them to be decent human beings.

  2. This was timely for me to read. Last Thursday I was returning home from my craft group Christmas lunch and the route home runs past my childrens school. I have travelled that route thousands of times over the years and lot of times since my children left school. When my children finished year 12 they both left home and embarked on the lives. My daughter to University in Brisbane for 5 years and then to a job in Canberra. Home of course for holidays. My son joined the Army straight from year 12 and it feels like yesterday that we drove him to Townsville and watched him board a plane for Canberra. So I am driving past the school at pick up time and the thought ran through my head that I would give anything to be picking them up from school. All these years later it hit me that they are gone. Where did the years go and why did it take me so long to realise that they are gone, when they have been gone for years?

  3. My only son is now 27. Living in London. We had wonderful years together doing so much – we still laugh over the silly things us mums do with our kids. Memories will remain with us forever. I still Hv so many of his books toys and school memorabilia that I Hv kept. Today he is my best friend and the great news is he will be moving back to Oz in the new year.

  4. Anita Cutler Denise J Hoffman Jo Hoffman. It all passes so quickly. But good memories remain.

  5. Every day I wish my sons were still young. At least they spoke to me in those days.

    • Fran I don’t think they even realise that they don’t have as much contact as we would all like to have, I know it is no excuse however they grow up and once they have made a life for themselves and then children come along, I think they just get caught up in that life not stopping for a few minutes to see how it maybe affecting their parents. You are not alone it is very common here where I live to here people say they don’t see or hear very often from their kids.

    • Thabjs Trish. Mine dont talk to me at all. Have no idea why. Not even when i was rushed to hospital did the one who lives a kilometer away bother.

    • Fran your situation with at least one of your son’s has outside influence, with his girlfriend, just hang in there, they love you , they will realize what a great mum you are in time sweetie xo

    • I feel for you Fran, have you tried getting them together to thrash it out with them? I know my kids are just caught up in their own lives and just don’t give it a thought to often.

    • One lives in Canada and i havent heard from him in five months. One lives a couple of kilometers away and just doesnt want anything to do with me.

    • Libby and others are right, they do get caught in that speedy life without thinking of their parents and tend to live as per the wife’s way all the time and depend on the wife. If she doesn’t want compromisation between her family and the husband family then The other member of the family suffer a lot including the husband ( most of the times he will suffer in silence and very unhappy ). It can also happens for both ( sons n daughter)

  6. Anonymous  

    Totally know how this Mum feels

  7. Even the good souvenir hurts 😢 I would say that I’m still lucky to hv my 2 boys @ home ( one seperated with wife and hv 1 son) moved back home a year ago. 2nd son still fiancé ( never ending ) said he’s not ready for marriage! But in spite they are both here, they are mostly never home ( work early till late 6 days a week and out on Sundays ), really home for basic needs . But when i look around, even they are home I would like them both to be settle with a family of their own . 🙏🏼

  8. Funny how it hits you like a truck, a week after our daughter was married and we sat down for dinner on our own i realised this was it just us now, couldn’t stop crying, my job was done, just how I’d planed, very independent happy kids got them through the good and not so good times but I hadn’t planed on not hearing the back door slamming and hearing MUM where are you ? do you want come shopping? The bedrooms are empty. Thank God for grandkids. ❤️

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