Tuesday, September 19, 2006

SPC: with someone


Baptism by fire. That’s what it feels like to be the mother of this beautiful child. I carried her in my body and each new change and unexpected trial was new and exciting. I bore her naturally as women have done since the first woman bore her first child. I thought it would come naturally to know how to care for her and teach her. I was wrong. Every stage that she goes through, I struggle. I used to weep and ask, “Why would you send me someone with a stronger will than my own?” But now I know. Because I am her mother, I am stronger than I ever could have been on my own. Because she pushes and struggles, I have to push and struggle. The moments of peace are sweeter. I am constantly learning and asking and growing and stretching. When I see that I have made a difference in her life, I am more thankful. After the moments of exacerbation and exhaustion come the moments of love and tenderness and understanding; the moments of mutual forgiveness.


This morning was an awful morning. A morning of screaming and stomping and broken pencils. I took her to school an hour late, but her homework was done and she was dressed and she had a lunch that seemed to be satisfactory. Did I like her outfit? Not really, but I wasn’t about to tell her that, because she was finally dressed and not crying. I wonder what she’ll think in 15 years from now when she looks at her class picture and sees herself standing there in that weird little outfit that she chose on this awful morning. But you could have tasted her love for me and mine for her when it was all over and she said goodbye.


more self portraits here.


Left-handed Trees... said...

Beautiful images...you can see the tenuous balance between mother and daughter--especially in the second shot. I'm sorry to hear about your morning--baptism by fire just about covers it. (I feel this way about my youngest child at times...) Maybe she'll look back on her school picture today and the "weird little outfit" she chose and realize this was a day where she was bold and strong in her beliefs about herself. (Or, just as likely, she'll say, "MOM, why did you let me out of the house like that!?!") Thanks for sharing these pictures and words...

Bohemian Girl said...

such gorgeous, warm and telling photos of your relationship.

this is a wonderfully real and raw glimpse into motherhood.

" you could have tasted her love for me and mine for her when it was all over and she said goodbye."

so beautifully written and i do taste it now.

love to you both,

b/sistersshoes said...

"sentimental tenderness"

these are precious photos and you are both breath taking

oh, she'll remember the outfit alright, except in her memory, you will have picked it out ;-)

lovely day,

BZ said...

As a new dad, I still can’t believe that I will have days like you described. I am still worried about dream feeds and a grumpy baby around five, but your pictures and stories actually got me excited. I am so excited to watch her will grow and see how I will react to it. Your daughter is beautiful and your shots really captured the essence of your relationship. It sounds like you are doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

I love love love the photos of you and Anna. I wish we were there watching her grow up with you!


MiandMiksmom said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful words...and oh, so true. I want to hear a description of her outfit!

Colorsonmymind said...

Oh what a beautiful pair you are.

Your post is so poetically written.

The love evident on your faces.


Jamie said...

What beautiful tender photos. Here's to discovering your strength while nurturing hers :)

mom on a wire said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

Krista said...

What a beautiful bond you share. She will probobly laways challenge you, and you will probobly always try to make peace- and you will find your balance in those tender moments that you can "taste" the love in. Oh beautiful sister of mine- I am so glad that I got you. Of course I am crying. Why wouldn't I be? I am reading your blog aren't I?

elizabooth said...

Well stated. Mine isn't yet two and I can tell I'm headed for mornings like yours. A lovely post with lovely pictures though.

emma jo said...

Fourth grade picture day, two hours late for school. Hated my outfit, hated my hair...lived.
I love your stories!

Kathleen said...

thank you for your kind words on my blog!
i loved finding you and reading about you and your shorties!
it was nice to read this and imagine what my students might go through before they actually arrive in our classroom. one just never knows...

great description: "you could have tasted our love..."
very sweet.

Nettie said...

Beautiful post! I really felt the strength of your love and your struggles as I read it. She's a lovely girl!