I keep holding off on posting this photo because I have things to say about my experience shooting it. I always have things to say and never enough time to say them. That, and writers block.
I felt this particular session from the inside out. Little miss sunshine and her mom are the best kind of family. They had a connection with one another that was visibly joyful. Her mom is creative. She is a writer and a teacher. I love creative moms!
Hanging out with them instantly took me back to when Gracie was about this age and I was on my own with her after her Pop passed away (sorry for getting all emo on you). I’ll never downplay how hard it was to be a single mom, but there was something really special about that experience for me as well. Gracie and I were a team. We were a duo. Our bond felt tight and the love, intense. We snuggled a lot. You do that after a tremendous loss. You snuggle a lot. For us both, it was bittersweet, but the sweetness is what I carry with me now, more than anything. One mom. One daughter. Together, no matter what. I could cry.
I don’t believe that things happen for a reason. Life is topsy turvy and full of all kinds of sensational and heartbreaking random little twists and turns. Sometimes we have choices, sometimes we don’t. But with each fork in the road, with each experience that leads you onto a new one, there is something shiny, unique and special waiting. Having my daughter all to myself for that period was one of the shiniest things in my life.
I feel like I should disclaim, this is my own sentimentality spilling all over this photograph. In no way do I mean to imply that these two are struggling to find a bright side. It’s more the opposite. Their connection is what moved me. That is what got me all sappy assed.
And so this song, for both of our girls.