The Motherhood Collective is a year long project by a group of like-minded photographers capturing real moments and precious images of ourselves with our children.
Together, we are embarking on a year long personal project, encouraging each other to step outside of our comfort zone, lay aside our need for technical perfection, ignore those stubborn extra pounds on our waistlines, and simply cherish these simple, beautiful moments with our babies.
(Scroll to the bottom to see the next photographer in the collective and read her story)
Read Vol. 1-5 HERE.
This month I find myself overwhelmed, not by worry or fear, but by thankfulness. While things are far from perfect; we have dings in our not-so-new car, pee stains on the carpet from an overexcited dog, stacks of bills each month, and an ever-growing to do list, yet in spite of all that, I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone else.
Sure, the kids are rambunctious and sometimes I wish we had a padded room so they could literally bounce off the walls, but they love each other and they love their mommy and daddy. Caleb is growing up so very fast, learning and experiencing something new each day, and I just want to grab on and slow him down somehow. And while his new haircut makes him look even older than his five-and-one-quarter years, he still is my little boy at heart. I know that all I have to do is say, “Caleb, guess what? I love you.” And he’ll grin, and say, “Mommy, guess what? I love you, too.” To which I ask, “How much do you love me?” And he’ll always reply, “I love you 21.”
It’s our little secret, you see, the special thing only between him and us. When Caleb was just learning to count, the highest he could go was 21 so that number came to represent the biggest number he could think of. Ever since then, it’s always our answer to one another when saying “I love you.” Though now that he’s a “big boy” and does “big boy math” he’s started to add a few zeros to it, but I’ll take “21 plus a hundred zeros” any day!
Now Sammy is at that in-between age where she understands more than she can communicate, much to her and our constant frustration. There are times that both of us are in tears as I’m trying to understand what she wants, but while words may fail her at times, all she has to do is come up to me, lay one of those soft, chubby baby hands on my arm and look at me with those wide, blue eyes of hers, and I know exactly what she needs. She needs mommy.
She may be a rough-and-tumble daredevil like her daddy, but Sammy is my little mini-me through and through. My namesake, for we share our middle name with both my mother and grandmother, Sammy is my housecleaning buddy, my fellow bookworm, my cuddling-in-the-bed companion, and my fellow lover of bubble baths.
As we were getting ready to head to the field tonight, I overheard Micah saying, “Sammy, please don’t ever grow up. Stay this size, this age, forever.” And even while I smiled at the sweetness of the moment, I could feel my heart tighten and break as I realized how quickly time passed with Caleb and how it’s flying by even faster with Samantha. Our children are growing up before our eyes and while we look forward to each birthday and all the growth, experiences, and adventures that come with them, it’s so sad to think that each day that passes is a day that we’ll never get back.
With that solemn thought in mind, I turn off the computer, put down my phone, let the dishes wait till morning, and allow the kids to stay up just a tiny bit longer, all so we can squeeze just a few minutes more out of this day. A few more minutes together. A chance to make a new memory, to hold onto this moment for just a little while longer. No, I can’t make them stay little forever, but we can cherish every moment while they are.
P.S. Isn’t our new field/session location gorgeous?
The Motherhood Collective is shared as a blog circle, so you can click the link below to visit the next blog, and so on, until you arrive back here in Alaska. I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to see these lovely women with their children and read the words that come straight from the heart. By the time you come back around, you’ll want to hug your own baby close and cover them with kisses.
Visit fellow mother & photographer Alison with Lentille Photography to see her June contribution.