child portrait sessions

Dear Mom...

Dear Mom,

We've only known each other for a couple of months, by my goodness you smell good. You are so good at holding me when I cry, you change my wet, stinky diapers pretty quick, and when I am hungry there you are. You sure know how to make my feel better. I keep hearing you say that you're fat, the stretch marks are gross, and all you want to do is wash your hair. I don't know what any of that means, because when you pick me up, and you smile at me, wow I sure do know how much you love me. Did I mention how good you smell? You smell really good mom. I hope you look at me that way every day, you sure are pretty mom and I am sure lucky. You had that thing in my face again when you were feeding me, you tried to make me smile, but I just wanted to be with you. and you know what we didn't do together? We didn't take a picture. 

It's me.... today I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich.... I got the jelly everywhere and we laughed that I looked purple. You said something about being sticky and that I looked like a purple Oompa Loompa, I don't know what that means, but you thought it was funny when you kissed my nose.  You put me in the bath where I splashed the water out of the tub. I know you thought about getting upset because lets be honest there was water EVERYWHERE, but instead, you splashed me back. Boy did I like that, your laugh is so contagious. You laugh, I laugh.  We laughed a lot.  My giggle seemed so innocent, your heart was full, and when you pulled me out of the tub we snuggled just for a minute while you warmed me up in my towel. You looked so pretty today when you smiled, that's all I noticed, how much you smiled at me. You got that thing out again, you know, you put it in front of my face and snapped at me for my attention.  But you know what we didn't do together? We didn't take a picture. 

Me again mom, its a new day, and I am only getting older, you seemed stressed, so I tried to play chase with you, you told me not now because its been a long day and you had to do some more work on the computer. I said it was ok, but I was a little disappointed. You always seem so sad, you're always so busy, but you know what I noticed about you? How pretty your long hair is, so I got my brush out that I use on my barbies and asked if I could brush your hair. At first you said no, but then I asked again, and you gave in. I brushed and brushed and brushed it, you actually started to seem like you liked it, until I pulled your hair, I'm sorry about that mom. But I did like spending time with you. It was so nice to just be near you and your long pretty hair. You did it again, you got that thing out, and turned it to look at me and you posted a picture of just your head and me combing your hair.... not your face though... you said you didn't have any makeup on. I think thats the pretty stuff you put on sometimes that makes your eyes look big, but Im not sure. But you know what we didn't do together? We didn't take a picture. 

Hey mom, I'm sorry I forgot to put my clothes in the laundry basket this morning and make my bed. Boy were you mad when I got home. You said we were in a hurry to get to soccer, dance, and under water basket weaving class, and that we would take about it later. You yelled something at my brother who was just trying to get his book for the car. You told him if he didn't come right now he was getting left behind. I laughed because well he's my little brother and the thought of that was entertaining, but then I thought gee that was a little harsh. We got to soccer and you sat on that thing the entire time talking to what I can only assume is dad, complaining how stressful the day was, and how when we get home I have to go straight to my room because I didn't do my chores. You said you weren't a maid service, and I would learn to do it myself. A couple of times I saw you with that thing, trying to catch a good action shot I guess. We rushed to dance, I got in my cute new red leotard and you did it again, you said hey look AT ME. All I could do was look at your face, you are still so pretty mom. People say I look just like you, I sure am lucky... even when you are mad at me. But you know what we didn't do together mom? We didn't take a picture. 

It's a big day today mom, my first date. He's coming in just 32 minutes and 25 seconds. I have tried on every piece of clothing I own, I hate them all. I have rewashed my face and reapplied my makeup 23982398 times because it just doesn't look right. No mom, no go away, I don't want your help, YOU DONT KNOW how to do it mom. Not like those girls on youtube. Sally's mom can probably do it, she is always so confident, even when she is on the "hot mess express" as she says. We haven't been talking much lately, you and dad talk a lot about me, but not to me, which I find annoying. You're constantly yelling at me for chores, homework, activities, friends. I just want to be alone. It's ringing and buzzing and the people on the other end are super important. I'm ready and NO, no I don't want to do it with you, but here's mine, will you capture one really quick for me? Thanks mom, but don't say anything embarrassing.... PLEASE do not, he is just so cute if you embarrass me my life will be over. And no I don't want to do it together mom, I don't want to take a picture.  

Time sure did fly by didn't it mom? You've been crying so much lately. Talking about things like jelly sandwhiches, and bath time, my first recital, and all the times I just WOULD not make my bed. I don't remember a lot of it, you do have a lot to scroll through and show me, but you know whats odd Mom, where are you? You aren't in a single one of them. That's weird because I remember you being there, I remember the laughs, and the arguments, and the tickles and the fights. I certainly remember you always calling for me to look at you and say cheese. But years from now, after this day, this most important day, I want to remember you in the memories, not behind them. So as they are taken today on my wedding day, I hope you hop in a few, because every thing I know about beauty, and grace, and kindness, I learned from you, and that infectious smile you have. And I hope, one day, when I have kids, I'll remember the same. Because I will forever wish we had taken more photos together mom, so lets take that picture. 

I get it momma, I do. I am you. I have had 2 kids 16.5 months a part. I am pregnant again. I have lost and gained weight. I have cut my hair short and dyed it dark colors. I have thought, I'll do that tomorrow. I have asked how could my husband possibly find me attractive. I have been annoyed, angry, suffered from post-partum depression. My husband has left for the Army and I have been bitter that I was alone. I have had sick kids, and healthy kids, doctors appointments, and therapy sessions, gymnastics, and birthday parties GALORE.... I have wished I could buy this or buy that for them or compared what we have to others. I have wanted a bigger house, a nicer car, less debt. I have looked in the mirror and pointed out all of the things I didn't like about myself, only to hear my daughter ask if it was the same for her because everyone says she is my little twin. I have asked my photographer friends if they could slim down my arms. I have hooted at my kids to look my direction and say cheese, and I have most definitely, 100% spent more time on my phone then off of it. 

But my kids are growing, before I know it my peanut butter and jelly covered, chocolate milk drinking, sneak into my bed in the middle of the night kids will be all grown up and gone, living their own lives. It feels like it is already happening. Some how, some way, my 5 pound 9 ounce precious tiny baby girl is 4. And maybe they wont want to take pictures with me when I AM ready. You will never be exactly who you want to see in a photograph. It's just the truth. We are by nature able to find even the smallest things wrong with ourselves and nit pick it until we find something else. But these babies, these precious babies of ours do not see what we see. They see our smiles and hear our laughs. They pick up on our emotions and listen to our comments about ourselves. And for sure, they notice when we aren't paying attention to them. I know you're tired. I know your wheels are always spinning. But most importantly, one day, when you and I momma are old and grey these precious babies are going to want to remember those moments. Trust me. They are going to want to remember what you looked like when you got all made up for a date, or headed out to the soccer fields. They are going to want to smell you and hear you and be with you in those memories. That isn't possible if you never get in front of the camera. 

So here it is... the pot and the kettle... you can call me whichever you like, whether with me or someone else, it's time momma, it's time to celebrate you for you and all the wonderful things you are to your babies. Because I promise you they don't see what you see. You are strong, vibrant, beautiful, but most importantly, you are someones mommy. So this Mother's Day I urge you, no I challenge you to get in front of the camera, put yourself in the memories not behind them. Come see me for a Mommy & Me mini or go to someone else... please... whether they are 3 months, 3 years, or 30... YOUR baby is only this little today. 

xoxo, Melissa