Amy Grace, A Beautiful Life Photo : Motherhood With A Camera
a kid’s sense of wonder might be the most beautiful thing there is. every kid, every time, it is something for us to wonder at. and to feel wonderment in the world means to really BE in the world. to live in the midst of challenge, to look the scary things straight in the eye and talk them down, make friends with them, and bring a coat to warm us against the weather we brave. life will not be the kind of perfect that is free of pain, no matter how hard we wish it. but with the scratches, the aches, the losses, we find each other, we find community, compassion, and the most golden, precious light. i would rather photograph light and shadows together.
my daughter has never worn blinders. she opened her eyes when she was born and they stayed that way. it runs through our blood. to see it all, understand things before the big words even enter our vocabularies. her little life has not been the straight line i would have wished for her when she came to me. but no child, no person can stay a blank slate. the depth of the curves we have driven through together show up in the way she smiles with her whole person, finds quiet and strength when she wants it, is the first to leap in and love, regardless of the audience. i see it in her brother too. she is a teacher, and he is learning to find his own syncopation with her strong heartbeat leading the way. i get to follow with my camera, dancing to their music.
while i am mesmerized by light, i become more mesmerized by the light they put out. so this business of taking their pictures is very much wrapped around the constant state of loving them. in the details i find the universals. in the tiny crinkle of her eyes, and the way his whole body bounces when he runs, the way his hair makes its own rules, and she always finds my hand without looking. the way their voices seem to sing together, like it has been practiced, and that in the love they show each other my own grows immeasurably. they feel like looking up at the stars. and i want to take a picture of that feeling, of all the different ways it shows up, soft and like fireworks, safe and terrified. our kids are every age they have ever been when we love them. as mothers, we have the amazing gift of knowing their magic details, and keeping a record. we will always be challenged, life will always be a gamble, but i bet on my love for them. and it is a feeling i know we all share. no matter how different we all are. i bet on all of us.