Twenty-seven days. That’s how long we were in Europe this summer, re-learning the art of appreciating stillness, of really tasting our food, and seeing new places and things through the fresh eyes of our ten month old. It was restorative to leave behind typical worries, even in exchange for new ones (like how to get a month’s worth of luggage and a baby in a stroller over the dozens of steps and bridges to our hotel in Venice). And although the entire trip was a luxury, the real richness for me came in slowing down just enough to really watch our son develop, to see how he blossomed when both of his parents were there with him, day and night. It was the abundance of time that felt really indulgent — and I would trade it for absolutely nothing.
Five months of juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship has taught me a lot of things, not the least of which is that there will be days when not a thing gets crossed off my professional checklist. Today has felt like one of those days—although if that was actually the case, this blog post would, admittedly, not exist. Some days, my little love will bounce away in his favorite chair and babble for the sake of hearing his own voice; he’ll nap on schedule and beam at me when we make eye contact. Other days, he’ll refuse to nap, demand that I hold him (while standing and bouncing) all day long, and cry with all of his might if I attempt to do otherwise. It’s days like this—when the balancing act seems completely untenable—that I must remind myself to breathe in, breathe out, and know how lucky I am to have the flexibility I do.
You grew my heart the moment you took your first breath.
I remember marveling at your tiny, exaggerated features that night—learning the softness and contours of your sweet, wrinkly face—and realizing I had never before known my true capacity to love. You were brand new, yet so familiar to me, somehow, and nothing had ever made me feel so at home as the rise and fall of your breathing against my chest. I was so taken.
I still am.
I have big love for this family. Don’t get me wrong; I adore all of my clients — they’re why I do what I do — but there’s something about this close-knit little threesome that just puts a smile on my face and makes me feel at home. Maybe it’s because Mer & I go way back to a shared summer in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans; or maybe it’s the connection that’s developed over growing our first babies over the course of the same beautiful spring months; it’s probably both. But Merlyn and Vincent are a salt-of-the-earth, amazing couple to know, and it only got better when we added their sweet little Madison to the mix.
Admit it: your child is more adept at operating your many digital devices than you are. It’s okay, really: if you look around you any day of the week, you’ll know you’re not alone. The way children absorb information is uncanny, and their ability to understand the role of technology in their little bitty lives is nothing short of astounding. So, I guess I shouldn’t have been terribly surprised when 20-month-old Oliver took one look at my fancy camera gear the morning of our session and knowingly chimed out, “cheeeeeeese!” (He then promptly darted away.)