Nancy Moser

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of eighteen inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including The Good Nearby and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at and


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

I am convicted by the above verse. After having kids around the house all summer, the only “clothe-ing” going on in my household involves their wet swimsuits and towels littering the floor. And I can guarantee, I do not feel compassion, kindness, humility . . . And the only thing holy is hole-y and in need of mending.

I know why Labor Day is at the end of summer. It’s the day mothers question whether the fruit of their labor pains was worth the price. Ask us the question on Memorial Day and we’ll bore you with sentimental memories of our children’s first teeth, or our wistful tears as they trotted off to kindergarten. Ask the question on Labor Day and we’ll growl, “I’ll give you three kids for a buck ninety-eight. Will that be cash, check or credit card?”

School days, school days, dear old Golden Rule days…

The Golden Rule is mentioned in those lyrics to remind our children of the existence of rules. You know. Those guidelines parents set up in June, revise in July, and throw in the recycling bin in August?

You may not go swimming until one hour after eating.

    One-half hour.

          Here, take a sandwich with you.


Come inside when the street lights turn on.

    Here’s a flashlight.

          Be sure to lock up.

To be fair, the summer holiday involves compromise on both sides. I was used to grabbing a Snickers bar for lunch and the kids were used to school lunches packed with vitamins and minerals. But during the summer I hide my stash of Snickers and stock up on peanut butter and Lunchables. Have you tried the Pizza & Treatza one? Yum.

Summertime is costly for those families whose parents both work outside the home. Day-care expenses make you ask: Not only are the kids out of school, but have to pay money for the privilege?

Those of us who work at home dream of day care. It’s a bit hard to concentrate when a trail of flip-flops bisect the house, the smell of burnt cookies waft out of the kitchen, and the alien sounds of video games make us contemplate the construction of a stockade in the backyard. (I wonder if the library has a how-to book, perhaps shelved under child psychology?)

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you…

I should clarify. I love my kids. Cross my heart and hope to . . . but they make me tired. Lethargic. Catatonic.

I considered buying three season tickets to the Royals. Let’s see . . . eighty-one home games at four hours a game equals 324 hours when my darlings won’t be asking me The Question.

And what is The Question? Come on parents, you can ace this quiz.

Is The Question:

A. We’re tired. What can we do now?

B. We’re hungry. What can we do now?

C. We’re bored. What can we do now?

The Question is: All or any of the above depending on the barometric pressure, the peanut butter deficit, and the number of neighbor kids glaring at me from the doorway.

In a usual summer, I hear and attempt to answer The Question two hundred eighty-three times. I start the summer with good intentions—and good answers.

“Ask Erin over. Play school. Read a book.”

But around the thirty-forth asking (during day four) my answers and my patience show signs of sanity withdrawal.

“Are you sure Erin’s parents don’t want another child? Go pick the lock on the school. Watch a shopping channel.”

I answer Question number 274 with a primal grunt. In response to Question number 275, I snarl. Intent on testing their mother’s new vocabulary to the fullest, my children continue through Question number 283, when they notice my incisors appear to be sharpening. I never hear The Question again. Hey, I didn’t raise no dumb kids.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity…


I know as the end of summer glows on the horizon and the aura of back-to-school entices, I’ll give anything to hear the thud of elephant feet and the wails of, “But, Mom, do we have to?” I’ll look back on chaotic summers with a bittersweet reflection. Guilt will sit on my shoulders until I admit my insensitivity.

Until next year.

Washington's Lady