Friday, September 22, 2017


* A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017*

Matteo:  Every summer since you started walking, I have photographed you in front of this giant wood pile at your grandparent's house in Oregon.  It's like a yardstick of your incredible growth each year.  This is our last summer before you start kindergarten.  I know that school will bring both good days and hard ones.  I am excited to celebrate your accomplishments but also worried that I won't be able to shield you from the growing pains that come with being school aged.  Like stacking wood for the winter, it will be a hard job that requires patience.  Papa and I will always be here to help you.  We will celebrate your good days and hug you closer on the not so good ones.  Before you know it, you will have stacks of memories and new skills stored away for the future.

Lilah:  You don't like to be more than a few feet away from your Mama.  The anxiety this causes seems to be increasing, working its way more frequently into your little heart.  We took you to daycare for the first time during the month of May, while Daddy and I taught summer school.  Your teachers said you cried a lot or just sat quietly on your own for several days.  It broke my heart to think of you, in tiny pigtails with yellow rubber bands, trying to make sense of this unfamiliar new space.  Summer school has ended and we have been in Oregon for a week of our vacation already, but those days of separation seem to be affecting you more than I realized.  You cry if I leave the room, even for a moment.  My sudden absence floods you with emotions too big for you to yet understand.  I wish you could see that no wall or window can diminish how much you are loved.  I will always want to come back to you, to hear your "hiiiiiiiiiiiiii, mama!" as I scoop you up and lay your eager head against my chest.  The sound of my heart soothes you, one beat at a time, until your courage is restored.  You are still small and the world is very big, it's true, but Mama's love for you is much much bigger.

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