With Mother’s Day around the corner I’m feeling nostalgic–especially since I just got the photos in that my friend Richard from This Original Life took during our “Mommy & Me” photo shoot.
I’ve always said that if my girls can look back on their childhoods the way I look back on mine, then I was successful as a mom. Thinking back to my childhood, there are so.many.fond memories. I can probably fill a book with the times that we laughed, cried, loved and hated each other–yes, hated (my girls get their drama honest).
But not one of those times is a staged photo shoot but I wish I had photos of those times so I could show my littles how things looked, how I smiled, the gleam in my eyes–everything that Richard captured during the morning he spent with my family.
My favorite times were when my mom would wake my brother and I up, toss us in the car and we would venture on what seemed like an unplanned road trip. As a little girl, it was so much fun to just hop in the car and go! I thought my mom was truly the coolest. Now as an adult, I know there was so much planning she did behind the scenes. What I would give to see pictures of my mom sneaking around the house and our rooms (which were ALWAYS messy) to pack us up for our impending trip.
We would go to places like Hershey Park, Busch Gardens, or just to visit her family that we rarely saw so it was always a special occasion to see them. I remember when it was my turn to play navigator (I was horrible at it) but I loved the chance to get my mom’s attention all to myself. We would talk about everything–swimming, school, the future. We would laugh and joke or we would just stare out into the road that was waiting for us.
Another of my favorite memories were all the times that she took to make sure I understood the importance of good skin care. While the saying of “black don’t crack” is popular now, it wasn’t always! The lessons in Clinique care stick with me now as I still have a beauty regimen in place that was started as a child with my mom. Masks, toners, face wash, creams… I knew how to use them, when, and how often at a young age.
One of my least favorite times were my years of puberty. We would argue so much. There was lots of talking back, swift pops to the mouth and anger. I hated myself but I didn’t know why. I didn’t look like my svelte blond hair, blue-eyed counterparts and I hated it. But my mom loved me through it. She forced me to see the beauty that society denied me. She taught me that though my curves and body were beautiful, not everyone needed to see all of it. She taught me that it doesn’t matter what others think of me just so long as I thought of myself as being great nothing else mattered.
These are the times I wish I could photograph. These are the lessons I wish I could keep in a physical sense so I can wrap them up and pass them down to my daughter.
The very daughter that she held as soon as my body pushed her out. The very granddaughter that she fell in love with the instant she saw my belly pop out showing I was holding her life. The very granddaughter that the swooped in to save me so that I could be the best mom I could to her.
And now I’m building my own memories with my daughters. Neither one of them will look back on the day we had our staged photos done. It was stressful as we all tried to smile just right through makeup and semi-done hair. But you know what they’ll remember? They’ll remember the day that “that man came and took our pictures”. Mini has already referenced the morning that she helped me make her “favorite” french toast. These are the times that matter. These are the moments worth remembering. And I’m so happy that I have these pictures to illustrate the narration that I have in my head.
Check out some more of the photos from our Mommy + Me Morning Photo Shoot!