The Modern Momma: Leaving the Nest

Kristy Eckert
Izzy and her younger brother, Coop

Dear Izzy,

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.

You were 7 years old and Catholic. Dad and I were planning our wedding at the Baptist church where I grew up.

“What's the difference between Catholic and Baptist?” you asked your brother. I was walking in from the other room and stopped before either of you saw me.

“We both love God,” Kyle, then 10, replied. “We just love him in different ways.”

I smiled. It was a good answer.

But you paused and then looked up.

“Well I love God inall ways.”

I stood in the hallway and cried.

You have grown into a fierce, spectacular woman—and without losing that pure, beautiful heart. As you venture off to college, I can't wait to watch you fly.

Parenting is hard. Step-parenting, I have learned, is often harder. No matter how big your love, two other really wonderful people always hold the trump cards, as well they should.

Thankfully, I had you to help me figure out where I fit—which, as it turns out, was wherever you wanted me. Reading with you in bed. Cleaning up when you got sick in the car. Making you into a salt shaker for Halloween. Worming our way into the captain's deck on the cruise. Getting pedicures. Screaming from the bleachers at the state semifinal field hockey game.

Truth is, I've been with you as long as I've been with Dad. The reality that you're going what feels like a million miles away still hasn't registered. You, in many ways, taught me how to be a mom, and even though I'm far from perfect, it's my most favorite thing.

So thank you. Thank you for opening that pure little heart to me. Thank you for helping me find my place. Thank you for making me a better me. Thank you for the pleasure of helping build your beautiful wings. And thank you for making the journey so much fun.

Happy adventuring, to the girl I love in all ways.



P.S.: I hear South Carolina gets nasty hot. I know this really great school with a better football team just down the road if you change your mind.

Kristy Eckert is a Powell mom and founder of Kristy Eckert Communications. You can reach her at