I don't know about you, I hope I am not alone in this, but it's at night, when everyone is fast asleep that I feel waves of nostalgia roll over me.
As a mom, there are other things that tumble through my mind as well, all sorts of worries, spasms of anxiety, lists of to dos and self judgments of all the things I haven't done. Night time has always been my contemplation time; when the lights are off and there's nothing to distract, nothing to divert me from my mind's wanderings.
Most often my thoughts turn to my kids. As they sleep with wild abandon, I think of their innocent selves, I think of how much they have grown and will grow and I feel a bitter sweet sense of longing to slow things down. How did they turn so quickly from chubby gurgling baby, to a far slimmer, talkative toddler? How did their imaginations explode so massively? How can I keep them in their trusting, joy filled innocence for as long as possible? Have I kissed and held them enough? Will I always remember the smell of their honey scented skin? How long will my eldest let me pull her in to nuzzle and sniff her hair? What did they look like when they were twelve months old again? Will I remember what they look like now? Will I look back at now, this moment, and wish I had seen how little they still were and miss this time?
It's at these moments that I take great comfort in knowing that I have my photographs. I can walk into my living room and look at the photos I have displayed there. My girls as newborn babes, as crawlers, as rambunctious pre-verbal toddlers, as mischievous, fully verbal three and five year olds.
I will look at those images and I will feel deep love, some sorrow and wistfulness for moments now long past, joy that we have these experiences together, excitement for what is yet to come. The photos are the ties to the past, the documentation of a life-time, something to share with future family. They are priceless. I take great comfort knowing that they are there, to remind me, to send me back to those moments.
And now I'm all teary.
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