When I was a little kid and my parents took me to Disneyland, I always had the same little silent ritual. Upon entering the gates, I would look around and be very aware of the time of day. I would hold my breath and remind myself to be really really really happy right NOW because this day was going to fly by. Soon it would be dark and we would be leaving. I reminded myself that when closing time hit, I would wish it were RIGHT NOW. Nobody taught me to do this. I have no idea where or why I did it. But it’s probably part of why I like to freeze little moments with my photographs.
So this photograph.
I remember being in HER shoes. I remember Gracie’s Papa spraying everybody down with Lysol when they walked through our front door. I remember how I felt when I walked into the room and overheard him tell her that he would slay dragons for her. I remember sleeping during the day and staring at Gracie’s wide awake face at three in the morning. I remember being really grateful for 3:00 a.m. moments because nobody would interrupt us. I remember my body not feeling like my own and my boobs seemed to be out more often than they were in. I remember not caring about that. I remember watching my nieces and nephew hold her in the hospital with very little fear of their germs. I remember that feeling of intense peace mixed with a feeling of heightened vulnerability that only a newborn can bring. I remember finally *knowing* the mother’s love the way I had always heard about. There is nothing like it. And to my point, I remember knowing that she’d be 11 in no time. And just like walking into Disneyland I held my breath and soaked in the fleeting beautiful moment.
Gracie is eleven now. For sure the two of us are still at Disneyland. But sometimes when I walk into your home, I am overtaken by my own memories of her sweet babiness. Ultimately, this is why I don’t put your babies in giant pea pods or in jars full of jelly beans. Because absolutely nothing can be more perfect than this moment. Nothing.
Have a beautiful weekend, people. Maybe take a picture or two.