It has been a L O N G time since I have posted on the blog, mostly credited to covid-19 turning our whole world upside down. While other photographers (that I deeply admire and aspire to be like) have been posting constantly, mostly gorgeous images of their kids that they seem to capture every other day.. I have fallen into a stillness that has been very out of character for me.
I will say right up front that I have not enjoyed this stillness. I am a “go-er”, a “do-er”.. I don’t like silence or staying still for too long. And while the shut down in Maryland has not given me any silence (hello three kids, 6, 4 and 18 months), the stillness has been difficult to adapt to. While I sit here, my 6 year old daughter walks into the room and says, “Why is Abram naked?” I don’t even bother to look and truthfully reply, “I don’t know.” Why IS the 4 year old naked? Why DO I have such a difficult time with staying still? Wait, he’s naked AGAIN? I just put clothes on him half an hour ago. Ugh..
A big part of who I am is my constant movement to create. I have been a creative since I was little, and it’s sewn into my life fabric. My drive to be creative has been put away in a box on the closet shelf, labeled, “Open when covid-19 takes a hike”.. It’s hard to maintain a zeal for creativity when you’re forced into a life style that you’ve never experienced before; that isn’t who you really are. This isn’t my natural, God given state of being. Jesus saw fit to gift me with a 10/10 extrovert personality. I GET my energy from being around people. This shut down has caused me to try to morph into some kind of home-dwelling creature that soaks up every moment of the family time I’ve been blessed with while simultaneously trying not to day dream of hugging my Grandmom, laying hands on people at church to see Jesus heal their hearts and bodies, to stroll through the library with a feeling of comradery with the other Moms as they try to chase multiple children all running in different directions. I find myself trying to push my square self into a round hole while reminding myself that I don’t need to change who I am, but I need to learn to be adaptable when the time calls for it, and maybe grow some new facets. Growth is uncomfortable. Am I growing? I’m not really sure, to be honest. I guess once things go back to “normal”, I will have to assess who I am, now, post pandemic. Post trying to be an introvert and like it. Post putting away parts of myself until they can be brought back out to play.
Being a “still” Mom isn’t me. But I AM THE Mom to these three kids. I am and will always be, regardless of what happens to the world as I know it, the Mom of three naughty, blue-eyed, hilarious, dare devil, giggly children, who are growing up more every time I blink. Suddenly, Magnolia seems.. Old. Mature.. I realize how much I rely on her as a helper with the boys and as a friend. Abram as a late bloomer, is now starting to talk so well that I’m getting to know him on a deeper level as I hear all of this thoughts and feelings so carefully articulated. Hugo, now freshly weaned from breastfeeding, has turned from a baby into a little boy. Cue the hysterical crying from me.
Today we went outside to play in the yard.. Maggie in her rain boots, Abram obviously pants-less, and Hugo dressed like a little man in jeans and flannel.
And then the puddle happened.
My initial thought was, C R A P. Those are his only shoes and they take forever to dry. How could I forget about that puddle? But.. What’s done is done. There is no saving those shoes from the mud and water, now. So I let him enjoy.. And when I let him enjoy and shifted my focus, I felt such joy watching him splash in a giant puddle for the first time, too. I found joy in his joy, once I shifted my focus. He splashed and laughed, stomped and squealed, while holding and eating a soggy piece of pizza, no less. The epitome of boy. Amidst the quiet chaos covid-19 has thrown us into, today, being a “still” Mom and shifting my focus gave me a front row seat to a “first” that isn’t really a milestone captured on camera by a professional, or probably given much thought as important at all, really.
But to me, today, it was important. For a minute, a part of me came out to play that has been put away. I saw the precious memories, the perfect overcast lighting, the contract of his beautiful golden curls against his muddy, ripped jeans, and I decided to grab my camera for the first time in months.
It isn’t lost on me that without this “stillness”, I would’ve missed this. Cheers to being a “go-er”, a “do-er”, and also now, a “still” Mom. Sometimes.