Dear Moms - I See You
I see you.
Through the many stages of childhood, you were there.
I see you with your new babies, both in awe and overwhelmed at the enormity of the responsibility placed on you by motherhood.
I see you looking at their tiny faces, fingers, and toes and wishing silent wishes of protection and health. I see you sleep-deprived, exhausted, frazzled, and constantly doubting your instincts.
I see you with your toddlers. Watching them learn in amazement while simultaneously watching their every move ready to pounce if they need protecting.
I see you constantly trying to identify and fill their needs as they learn how to communicate them to you.
I see you with your growing children. The pride and sadness as they go off to their first day of school. I see you learning when to intervene and when to step back.
I see the look in your eyes the moment you suddenly become aware of how fast time is passing by.
I see you with your teenagers. I see you amazed at how much they are capable of and terrified of the influences around them. I see you watching the clock and checking their attitudes.
I see you feeling both freedom and loss as they begin their journeys outside of your home.
I see you preparing yourself for their adulthood.
I see you as your children, once small and dependent, grow up and begin lives of their own.
All of this time, I saw you. From behind my camera I watched you, always there, holding their hands, reading them stories, kissing boo-boos, going on adventures, teaching, and loving.
You were always there, I saw you.
But I also saw you step out of the frame, away from your children, worried about your hair, the dark circles under your eyes, your weight, your outfit.
But your children don’t see any of that.
They see what I see - a woman who is beautiful, unique, and stronger than she knows. A woman whose heart aches and rejoices with every step her children take. A woman who is irreplaceable and everlasting.
That’s what they see. That’s what I see too.
One day, they will look back. They will look for you, remembering that you were always there. What will they find? Will they find their childhood documented in breathtaking detail - except for one?
These moments - these photographs - are gifts. Not only to you, but to them as well. Let them have photographs to show their children and their children’s children. Give them a photo to run their fingers over, tracing your face, remembering your smile. Let them look back on a childhood as they remember it - with you. Right there. As you are.
I see you. I have always seen you. Let them see you too.