The nights are long, but the years short…
In my experience as a photographer, the connections with parents and their kids have always been my favourite, second to siblings photos. Somehow when the stars align and you get a toddler hugging on his baby sister it melts you. But more so…. I can’t describe the slow smile that sneaks over a mother’s face when you tell her to hold her son tight and just give him a nice long squeeze and a sound kiss on the top of his head.
Or just imagining the thoughts that are going through her head when she’s holding her baby and I tell her to close her eyes and just bury her face in her babies hair. I know…. Kids don’t always smell the greatest, I’ve got 4 of my own and sometimes bath time comes around more often in the week than usual, but just loving on my kids like that… Just being reminded to take it slow and really soak it in makes you forget everything else, if just for a minute. Now…. I just got a photo of that.
Not all photos evoke an emotion for everyone, but they’re all little reminders of the past. Of you being there, being their mom. And of them being little…. even just for a second, before you blinked…. they were little. It’s so easy to forget how tiny they were especially in the midst of being a busy mom with little kids.
Once an older woman came up to me, a first-time mom with my brand spanking new baby in her car seat sleeping, perched on the top of the shopping cart at Superstore. She said ‘Oh what a dolly, cherish this time it goes by so quickly. It was just yesterday I was pushing my own babies around”. I smiled as sweetly as I could and said ‘oh I will’. But in my head was the mind of a brand new mom, laughing at this crazy woman, who was obviously to old function. Last night was the looongest night of my life nursing a newborn for 8 hours continually. I smell like a sour milk carton and my hair has been in this bun for 3 days straight. She’s obviously delusional… I can’t wait until I can sleep through the night again.
1 month later my baby is smiling, cooing and doesn’t have the newborn smell anymore. She’s not sleeping and snuggling so much through the day and has changed like crazy.
I blinked, and just like that she’s in grade 1, her baby sister is the sleeping newborn in the shopping cart with 3 other kids following me at Superstore. Almost as if he and that old lady planned it, a man with a thick British accent comes up and smiles at my baby, ruffles my toddler’s hair and looks up at me. “You remember these days here, they go by quicker than you think. Just yesterday I was teaching my young-in how to throw a ball”. I smiled and kid you not felt my eyes well up…. “I know, I sure will,” I said. And I genuinely meant it. That woman 7 years ago in Superstore was right, and she gave me some amazing advice. I just needed to live it, then hear it again before I really understood it.
I look back now at photos of my kids as babies, I’m so thankful for them. Those days went by so quickly. What they say about the nights being long and the years short is so true. So savor them, and remember to be in photos with them, it’s the only way to stop time.