Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Birthday and Portraits

Just in time for another birthday weekend!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

One Year

Bear-Stinks, Thank you, my love, for giving me a second opportunity to mother a baby, to relish in the simple joys of loving an infant and to reconsider the importance of family above all else. Spending so much time with you over the last twelve months, likely the last time this Mama will watch and teach my own babe to discover the world, has been incredible. Your birth came at a very hectic time in our family life, a time when Mama felt like I couldn’t give up on work and when Daddy was struggling with a brand new business venture. Add to that mix a three-year-old brother constantly on the go, and we had a recipe for letting you down. In fact, from the day we found out you were a boy to the day you were born, I wondered and worried how you would compare to your big brother, anxious Cayden would always overshadow you and afraid I wouldn’t be able to love you as much as I loved my first-born. But instead of sending us into a spiraling tail-spin of sleepless chaos, your arrival ushered in a surprising calm. You immediately dissuaded my fears over how you’d compare to your brother, and for all the worrying I did over how differences could make you less, I never imagined how differences would make you more, in your own right. I quickly came to recognize and revel in your uniqueness, each new discovery of “different” a celebration that reaffirmed you would pave your own path rather than walk in your brother’s footsteps. Know this, Barrett Ander: for all the comparisons that will inevitably come as you grow – to your brother, cousins, classmates and hopefully someday to your own children – you are loved and appreciated individually, never in comparison. I love to stare into the big blue eyes I never expected to look back at me from my own child, because your eyes hold a glimpse of a master plan I will never understand, but I believe firmly God has just for you. The experience that comes with being a second-time mama allowed me to fall in love with you instantly, the moment I met you, without limit or reservation. I hardly turned to the baby books worn so well three years before you, because you and I just got each other – simply, naturally, we fit. There’s no better therapy, no higher priority than surrendering to the neediness of a newborn, the responsibility of protecting your own and the privilege of nurturing a young life. And while Cayden taught me to be a Mama, you gave me the opportunity to delight in Mama-hood and demonstrate a little more grace in mothering. You reminded me how captivating dedicating myself to a baby is, and your simple presence lent greater perspective to a more meaningful balance. My heart aches at having to give up my baby as you turn one – giving you up to school, to a full-time work schedule, to all that comes as you grow out of infancy – but I’m so grateful for this past year, such a wonderful, intensely loving year together. When the pangs of nostalgia tug at my chest and sting the backs of my eyes, I try to take comfort in Ida Scott Taylor’s wise words below, and as we close the book on your first year, I’m proud to share with you memories of your beautiful beginning. One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. Despite the challenges this past year brought, you, my sweet haven, made it one of the best years of my life. Love, Mama

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013