who sees you in your motherhood?
do you know how beautiful you are in your tenderness? how delicate your hands move along the contours of your child? how the corner of your mouth turns and your eyebrow lifts when your child is about to do something questionable... how your eyes soften and gaze at them with a mixture of relief and pride, when they take a big leap and land on both feet. do you know how incredible you are when your arm reaches out in a flash of a second, to save a baby from falling, or a glass from smashing. do you know how precious it is, watching you prepare the plate of food your child habitually awaits at lunch time... how you line the components of his meal just so, with intention and subtle aesthetic. how your fingers comb through his hair ever so gently, with the grace and elegance of ballet. do you know how spectacular you look when you let your hair down...
when you think no one's looking?
how you create expeditions and adventures to expose him to the simple wonders of the world.
how you lead your child into uncertain territory with a sure hand and a steady voice,
a velvet voice rich with confidence and compassion...
that sense of accomplishment when you watch him explore with determination...
how you allow yourself to dive into the magical depths of his fascination with the world...
the tranquility this brings to your face,
while you share in these moments with your child...
while the distant noise of cars and city life disappears
behind this experience - right now - with your child.
how you tower over him, big, strong, poised...
like a beautiful monument symbolizing so much complexity...
but, ultimately, you are their beacon of love and security and justice and liberty.
the burden of this feels crushing when you think about it....
but right now you don't.
right now you relish his pure enjoyment of this sensory experience.
how you remove your shoes and dip your feet in the water next to your child...
how you sit in the mud even though you know you will walk back up the street later with a soiled bum.
you experience this moment with your child, at eye level,
and your child grows to feel strong and worthy of respect.
do you know how beautiful this is? this gift you are giving to him...
the gift of growing up believing that you are a person, and that you are worthy of love and respect?
such simple notions... but not all of us are lucky enough
to grow up feeling entitled to these human conditions.
my heart aches with throbbing tenderness
for the way you reach out and touch your child...
the way your fingers stretch out and place themselves
on your child's body in exactly the right way that speaks to them....
a silent language of the bodies,
a language you are both fluent in,
as you have been speaking it before any other language
since the dawn of this age, and even before it...
through your finger tips,
he knows he is safe,
he knows he is loved,
he knows you are there,
no matter what.
you fit together in a perfect entanglement of hearts and limbs
and dreams and hair and sweat and tears.
as he plays independently and happily near by...
suddenly... you reach up...
to unravel your hair...
which you almost never let down because he's said he doesn't like it down.
and because you're a hands-on mother. and long hair gets in the way. I get it. I did it too.
I didn't just put mine up. I chopped mine off. I said goodbye to my hair.
many years ago when my babies were small.
I watch you in fascination as your hair begins to tumble down around you....
you have no idea how incredible this was to observe...
what a vision you were. and you didn't even know it.
your hair comes unravelled, cascades of sparkling pathways tumbling in all directions...
like life itself, like all the stories that make up your life
like your dreams, and hopes, those reached, and those dashed
crossroads and junctures all come together in a perfect storm of flaxen spectacle
i look at the water beneath me... and get lost in the roots and murky world beneath the water's surface
my toe disturbs the silt... which sends the neat and tidy creek bed,
into an elegant and turbulent dance of particles swirling and tumbling in suspension within the water
just like the water, time also slows down, and your hair coming undone replays in my mind's eye
in slow motion, as if under water and i become swept up in its poetry.
speechless, discovering this new element to your beauty,
soaking in the intimacy between you two...
you were simple and perfect with your 'crazy mom bun'
but now the veil feels thinner and i can see and feel you more clearly
additional levels of you emerge, new dimensions appear from within your golden mane
and i see a glorious woman.
i see a face of angelic power
i see hands of grace and mercy
i see arms of compassion and security
i see a woman who loves without restraint
i see a mother who gives of herself entirely
to this other beautiful human.
i watch with delight
as he explores a piece of yourself which you often put away
waiting for a tug that comes along that just breaks up the moment
and leads to the conclusion of this magical moment.
but it does not come. he is gentle. he is loving.
and i am grateful.
he is just as in awe of your beauty
as i am, but in his own way...
he might not have the words
but his smiles, his lit up eyes, his body
speak volumes.... and again,
i feel your veil falling back some more.
i want to show you how mezmerizing you are
when you drift off in far away thought
when both you and he are, at once, on separate planes of thought
yet sharing a physical space
a daily occurrence either at home or afoot
a taking for granted that you are both there with one another no matter what
that each of you can float away and get lost in your minds
knowing you are both safe and loved.
i see your gentle serenity
and i paint it upon
a great canvas in my mind
and if you walk right up to the canvas,
you can just make out the mud between your toes,
and a glow of perspiration on your face.
a guiding, reassuring hand on the head,
a sweet, slightly unstead hand clutching a leg
a sense of supreme trust between you
you are two angels in the forest...
pure and unspoiled in your love and kinship
you hold on to one another with a sense of gratitude
and tenderness, the likes of which
sets my soul on fire.
the smile on your face,
the look of love in your eyes,
how you enjoy your child,
makes you so beautiful.
how your hands fit together...
how the magic of touch unites you and places you
under the spell of a love only possible
through great sacrifice
as i watch your veil falling apart around you
on this magical day
i find solace and inspiration in my heart
because i see what is possible in a simple human story
i see the great potential for the human heart
to thrive and flourish and blossom
like yours did on this day.
i see you in your beautiful motherhood, and i thank you for it.
I photograph artful moments of birth, life & motherhood.
If you think you might be ready to lift the veil, and let me into your world...
even if you're not, but would like to reach out and share with me,
I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading, I hope you find inspiration here.