It happened the other day… I was out in the yard with all three kids close to bed time. They were running around the yard like hooligans and I was dreading the bed time routine. They were so wound up and filthy. As I was about to call them in a neighbor (who I have never spoken with) drove by. She slowed down and rolled her window down. She asked how old the kids were and I replied “Almost 6, 4 and 1.” I said it almost ashamed. Like I know we’re crazy, life is crazy and it’s nuts over here. I’m sorry we’re so loud. She sat there for a moment and tears welled up in her eyes. “You are so blessed.” she said. “Enjoy this magical time. It really will be gone soon. Your kids are so beautiful. How lucky you are.” I then stood there fighting back tears myself. All moms with young kiddos have heard this multiple times from their parents, from relatives and from well meaning strangers in the grocery store. Sometimes when you’re in the thick of it these comments can hit a nerve, but we all know it is the truth. The pitter patter of feet coming to climb in your bed at 3am, the sticky messes, the crazy schedules to juggle, the snuggles, the baths, the constant bff to do errands with… it will one day come to an end.
This is what drives me to create beautiful imagery of families and children. Some day in the future, photos, videos and small snippets of memories are all we have to remember these times. We will vaguely remember how hard, tiring and messy life was and will long for the pitter patter of those feet. Capturing these moments and transforming them into something that is beautiful and tangible makes me feel like I am, to some degree, freezing time.
The neighbor sat there for a little bit longer admiring the kids and shaking her head. I knew she was missing her grown babies and longing to hold and snuggle them. To wipe away their tears and clean their sticky hands. I hurt for her, and for my future self… because I know (faster than I think) I will be that neighbor with tears in her eyes when I see a young mother whose arms and heart a filled to the brim with love.
I am excited to share with you another photographer, Renee McDaniel, a Manhattan, Kansas Lifestyle Family Photographer. who is sharing all about her family breakfast traditions.
Valerie Eidson is an award winning portrait photographer in Asheville, NC.