This year will be the sixth I've lived in Phoenix, and I can feel the weather changing. We'll soon be at the end of our gloriously mild 'Winter' and will be thwarted, head first, into a seemingly perpetual Summer. The change reminds me that the shift in seasons will bring changes for me, too, and changes in my girls. We'll be celebrating milestone birthdays later this year, years 1 and 5. It seems impossible that the never-ending newborn nights and long days of picking up toys and folding small laundry will lead us suddenly to such momentous celebrations. How is it that as a parent, time can go so slowly and so quickly at the same time? How do we slow down long enough to make note of it- to soak it in so much that we make it impossible to ever forget?
I drove up to Flagstaff recently for an in-home motherhood session for one of my oldest and truest friends. Over the last five years, we've shared many (MANY) conversations discussing the heights and the valleys of our mothering journeys. After sending her gallery out, I found myself wondering how she liked the images. I always wonder this with any gallery, without exception, but especially with moms. I wonder which were their favorites, and why, and if they see the sweetness in the photos that I see while I'm capturing them. So, I asked. I sent her some questions and she's graciously allowing me to share her responses with you. My hope is that it will help others seek out the magic in the mundane.
What do you want to remember most from this season of your life?
I want to remember the moments. The soft night time kisses, the smell of fresh baby breath, the little hands and soft touches. I want to remember how it felt to watch my children have 'ah-ha' moments and learn something new. I want to remember the small things that will pass by if you're not paying close attention. The day to day magic.
What do you think you will miss?
I will miss a house full of noise. Voices calling me "mommy," toys rolling across the floor, laughter, dinosaur roars, sizzling pancakes and the thumping of drums coming from down the hall. I'll miss the chaos created by busy hands, learning minds, and development of my children.
What do you like most about yourself when you look at your photos?
I like that my mouth is often open, as I spend most of my days communicating with my kids about everything. I'm answering questions, telling stories, teaching, explaining, singling, reading, and explaining again.
I like that my arms are full and strong. I like the reminder that my body is working for me in all the ways it was meant to. I am thankful that I am strong and able to care for my kids with my able body.
What are some words you would use to describe your own motherhood experience?
It's a juggling act. Messy, giving, growing, busy, chaotic, fulfilling, comforting, and nurturing.
Emily's Favorite Photos
"My son is a snuggler- one of his first words was "shnuggle." Often his requests are "Mom, will you snuggle me" or "Mom, I want a big hug and lots of kisses." He finds his peace in my arms and comes to them often. After tantrums, when he feels embarrassed, when he's in a new situation, settling in for a nap, waking up or heading to bed. This photo reminds me of the past three and a half years of his life and all of the time he's spent wrapped up in my arms."
"My smallest has been holding onto my finger since day one. She clasps tight for comfort, knowing I am close. As I write this, I am singlehandedly typing as she soothes herself to sleep with my finger up against her cheek. When she wakes in the morning, she turns herself to me and reaches out for my cheeks. We often spend the next 10-15 minutes laying in bed, side by side as she pulls at my cheeks or sucks at my nose. Her giggles bring up the sun. The time we spend like that together is when I feel closest to her."
"Day to day life with kids is eventful and uneventful at the same time. This photo captures how everything with little hands is louder and takes longer. This is the rhythm of our house that brings me smiles, gets stuff done, and teaches me patience. Motherhood."
You can view more of this gallery on my site here.