A few weeks ago, I kicked off my Celebrating MOM project, and so far, it’s been nothing but joy to watch this vision come to life. I’ve received such an incredible response and many wonderful people have lended their help and their services to make this thing happen.
We just wrapped up a photo shoot where we pampered and photographed five women, and I’m excited to bring you their stories, as well as a few others, in the coming months.
But first, here’s mine!
I must say, I am totally uncomfortable putting myself out there like this, and being the first woman whose life I “celebrate,” in this series.
I feel vulnerable. Exposed.
Perhaps there is still a part of me that wants to shrink back from the world? (Um. How long have I been sharing my life with the world on this very PUBLIC blog??!!)
Yeeeaahh. I realize it’s time.
And this is important. This is more about something and someone else, than it is about me, anyway.
These pictures are a culmination of the deep and powerful, frustrating and life-changing moments I have had with my second child, my son, Emerson.
I hope you see more than me, in them. I hope you see how amazing every moment has been. And how amazing your own life is, with the small souls you are raising.
My hope is that we, as women and Mothers, will see how beautiful our lives really are. That we will embrace even the most fleeting moments of our Motherhood and treat it as the gift that it is.
I accidently started this project when Emerson turned six months. I wanted to do something to commemorate the occasion, but I wanted to do it in a different way than maybe I would have done in the past.
I wanted to truly feel the beauty, the power, the gift of every single second I have had with him.
I looked and surprisingly, I found that gift and that power in the ordinary little pieces that lay, scattered around my life. Those seemingly meaningless objects that grace my days.
I began to pick them up, and hold them in my hands and remember with my heart, everything that had happened in these six months, and how it had changed me.
That’s when I realized. I had held bottle liners and baby wipes and ordinary pieces that had represented phases. Phases that had been used up and spent so feverishly and then grown out of.
Moments that had come so intense. And yet, passed so quickly.
So I brought them, heart and soul and hands to my photographer, Thalyta, who then captured them so beautifully on camera.
This is that story.
This is the story of what happens, immediately after birth, when you’re allover wet with joy and relief and dilerious exhaustion. That moment when you’re drenched in blood, and pee, and night sweats, and you don’t even care, because you’ve just brought a human into the world.
I realize that to some, it might look awful, horrid, or even gross. But to me, and to a Mother, it is the most beautiful, transcendent moment I will ever experience.
This is the story of those first few weeks, when it’s just you and that squishy blob of cuteness, and all you wanna do is lay around and cuddle. Actually, let me re-phrase that. All you are ABLE to do, is lay around and cuddle.
It’s a beautiful problem.
And then he cries. And you try everything. You change his diaper, you try his belly, then his back. You bring him up to your breast and rock and bounce and stuff a ‘nibby’ in his mouth, and still he cries.
You get frustrated and then you cry, because well…you care. More than you’ve ever cared before.
This is the story of how you make friends with your breast pump, just so someone else can feed your baby and so that you can possibly sleep through one of the twenty-five feedings that happen in a day.
How that awkward contraption is your ray of hope, your ONLY sliver of sleep, and how you love/hate it, but you do it gladly.
FOR YOUR SON.
Because he is worth it.
And then, how he gets his first teeth and you make really good friends with Sophie, (that punk teether giraffe that likes to get lost more than it likes to be chewed!) and all her soft, pointy, odd-shaped little friends.
How you throw them all in the vicinity of your son’s mouth, and hope that something takes. You hope that something other than your nipples, (OUCH!!) will provide some relief from the distress of those chompers.
Oh, and how somewhere along the line, you become a breast-feeding, burping, multi-tasking machine. You figure out how to eat, sleep, talk, feed your other child, and run errands, all while nursing your baby.
And eventually, how you find your groove and your rhythm.
How you bathe and lotion and love every inch of that skin. How you eat up life and that little human. And how you find a little independence, a little freedom…again!
You might even think you got this.
But then, how at six months, you realize you’re still spent, and lonely, and dilerious and tired. So you stay up late, reading books on how to get your little punk to sleep through the night.
Meanwhile, all you really gain is a deeper understanding of what it means to “sleep like a baby,” and you secretly hope that you don’t.
Aaah, the illusion.
The grand oxymoron of this life we call “MOM.”
And then one day, how you pick up his shoes, those tiny loafers he wore just a few weeks ago, and realize he’s already outgrown them.
This is that story.
The story of how you touch and affect every moment, however tiny it may be. How you carry memories, and souls in your hands and how rich and blessed your life is, because of them!
And you know then that these are not ordinary things. These are not just meaningless objects. For in them, lies that present, wild, and gloriously gut-wrenching moment of Motherhood that comes and transforms, and passes by us only once.
And then ends all too soon.
P.S. Don’t grow too fast, my son. I want to drink you in a little longer, sweet baby!
Note: All photo credits belong to Thalyta and Thalyta Swanson Photography, rights reserved. If you would like to share this, or any part of this content, please link back to this article, in its original entirety. Thank you! So we can all stay happy.:) -Ruthie