To my sweet, jolly Julian, on your first birthday — It’s been a whole year, and still I’m amazed daily at how your smile lights up a room. You radiate joy. You seek out opportunities to laugh. Rarely a day goes by without someone commenting about your charisma, your obvious desire to connect to those around you. I watch with amusement as you scan any new room for a pair of eyes you might engage, eager to show your interest and share your deeply dimpled grin. The reactions you elicit from anyone who notices speak wonders, my little love. Your personality is magnetic.
You may have noticed that I’ve been a little screen shy lately. The blog has been quiet and my presence on social media has been scarce. It hasn’t been purposeful — there’s so much to I want to share, so many projects I want to undertake. But sometimes, the behind-the-scenes, the technical, the administrative…those things take over. Owning a business isn’t as easy as some out there make it look, and as much as I hate to admit it, I sometimes feel rather resentful of those whose damn-near-perfect online personalities represent only the polished, sexy side of entrepreneurship. Because, guys, there’s a lot of sludge that goes along with this profession, too. There’s tax code to interpret, expenses to track, monitors to properly calibrate, broken gear to fix (and re-fix), streamlining processes to learn, a brand to curate and grow – and the moment you think you’ve got it under control, that you can sit back and let it all run itself – you’re thrown some sort of curveball that sets you back for weeks.
I remember what it felt like, those last few days before baby arrived. Full of joyful anticipation for what was to come, offset by a bit of nostalgia for the last precious moments of our familiar life together as two. It occurs to me now, as I look through these images of another family in waiting, that the days leading up to number two must be infinitely more emotional. Sure, you’ve done it before, you have all the tools — but your first child is your world. Fills you, undeniably and beautifully, to the very brim. So how do you learn to share your love / energy / time / patience? To not feel guilty for bringing a new all-consuming love into the picture?
I have a special place in my heart for this sweet little nugget, who I’ve photographed since birth (see her newborn photos here). Gabrielle was six months old at the time of this session, and was nothing but beautiful baby squish, blue eyes, and lashes. And OH – that GLOW…can you believe the light in her parents’ bedroom? Between that ethereal light and the beautiful pintuck headboard, she looks like she’s sitting amongst the clouds. I mean, come on: how could I not be totally taken?
We blinked and a year went by. A year. A beautiful, exhausting, perfect whirlwind of a year. And if we were taken with you then, in that first moment, we’re completely overcome now. Smitten. Hooked. Wrapped around your tiny little finger.
In twelve months, we’ve watched you grow into a charming, silly, expressive, joyful, curious, independent little boy. You have this way about you…so full of vivacity, so much light. You wander and wonder with reckless abandon and share your delight with the world unselfishly.