i am a photographer. a wife. and a mother to two amazing boys.
a friend of mine, who happens to be my youngest son’s Occupational Therapist, just brought home her newborn son this week. each time i’d see her so miserable in her last few weeks of pregnancy, i found myself lecturing her on what was to come. i offered unsolicited advice regarding birth stuff left and right. she’d gracefully listen but i knew there was no way she could wrap her arms around what was going to happen in her life. there was no way she’d understand the power of the club she was about to join. no way to get her to see how the word ‘love’ would almost be rewritten in her vocabulary. but now, even few days past giving birth i am sure she absolutely gets it. she now know what all mothers know. we’re in a club that is so precious, so powerful and so unique.
watching her grow bigger every week during our therapy session affected me. subconsciously i was reverted back to my days. to my story. to my misery during the last few weeks of gestation. to my first exposure to ‘the club’ and to the most powerful love i’d ever experienced.
and i got reflective.
i’d like to think that it was that reflection that caused me to start looking back more. i’d poured over images i call “the lost images” tucked away in old photo galleries that were hardly ever viewed. those were the images that never made it into the photo books, the ‘to be printed’ pile or onto the photo DVD’s we often watch as a family. the forgotten images. the ones where i was sure i didn’t look good in. the ones i was sure i looked too fat or too unkept in. the ones where we’d had goofy looks on our faces. turns out that now, almost 7 years later, i adore those images. and i am grateful for each and every one. they are more precious than gold to me.
why? well that’s an easy question to answer.
time has flown by in a swiftness that as a new mom 7 years ago i just couldn’t have possibly predicted. so fast that sometimes i don’t even remember chunks of time passing at all. sometimes i can look at an image of my son as a baby and feel that he is still asleep in his crib upstairs. today those images serve as a source of magic for me as i look at them now.
so i was driven to create a photo book for each child with those forgotten images in it. the process was so powerful to me that i often cried while creating the pages of those books. not necessarily sad tears but tears nonetheless. making those books set me off on a very powerful journey of self reflection. and that self reflection enveloped me in a wave of gratitude for the amazing and mighty past 7 years as a mom to these amazing boys.
i drove by the spot where i took these images yesterday a few times watching the light and being so intrigued by the colors, the metaphor of the uphill landscape, and imagining just where i wanted aaron to stand for the photos. i had created the exact images in my mind so i only knew i needed just a few shots to capture what i wanted. this place was perfect for my strong-willed, independent and pensive first born. (my second son’s images will be in a separate blog post.)
so here is my first born son holding his 100 page book full of those forgotten images. those powerful images. those priceless images. and i look at him —so grown up now an am in awe of what he is becoming. he is my powerful testimony to the swift passage of time. it truly seems like last week that i was the miserable pregnant girl counting the moments until i set off on my very own journey to motherhood. seven years have passed by. and very soon seven more will pass– (from what i am told–even more quickly than the first).
photos allow me as an artist and as a mom to taste life twice: once in the experience and another in the reflective moment. they allow me to slow things down if even for just a few moments.
thank you aaron and casey for teaching me to treasure each moment of our days together. i hope you cherish each unscripted image in those books as much as i did, do and always will.