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a normal day

On October 18th, my daughter was born and I became the mother of three children. Hundreds of miles away, on the same day, another baby girl was born and another woman added the third child to her family. We were complete strangers at that time, but our love of photography and family brought us together. We started to have a conversation about motherhood with images, because we tell stories with our cameras. Since some tales are so similar, and some are not, we decided to collaborate and share a photo a week from a normal day as a mother to three.

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”         – Mary Jean Irion

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i want you home with me, but i know that now is not the right time.  so i send you out into the world without me each day and my heart aches for you.  hope carries me through the hours as i wait for your return.  and when you do, i hang from your every word still holding onto that hope. “tomorrow is a new day.”  “hang in there.”  “it takes time.”  these are the words that come tumbling out of my mouth when i really want to say, “f*** them!”  “you don’t need them.”  “it is their loss.”  i see you growing though.  you are learning so much.  but some things just aren’t learned at school.  like the way your baby brother looks at you as you gently bathe him and echo his coos back to him.  no, love is taught right here at home with me, with your family.

photo by Heather Robinson     blog | Facebook

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There has been so much going on right now. I’m swimming against a strong current and I’m lacking the grace and poise required to make it, and quite frankly the stamina. Inside my head I’m in a fog and I feel overwhelmed. I need help. There are just so many moments where I want to scream out, “Help me! Someone please come help me.”
And it’s like your dad just knows when to come over and take your hand, or put you all on bikes and ride away for a bit, or heads to the store for groceries, or holds me close, or lets me go. He’s really good like that.

photo by Olivia Gatti     website Facebook

the way shadows work

we took the doorknob off your bedroom door because you were constantly locking out not only us but also yourself. now when you want to be alone to build your “inventions”, you sneak off to little sister’s bedroom and lock her door behind you. but your solitude is short-lived because she is always just a few steps behind you. that’s the way it is with shadows.

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just for me

today i met up with a childhood friend. it had been many years since we last spoke. as we ate lunch, she spoke of her career. when it was my turn to talk about what i do each day, i felt the need to downplay my accomplishments with “justs”. i spoke of how my days are filled with JUST taking care of four kids and JUST taking photos of them and JUST writing about our family life. she wasn’t judging me one bit. so, why was i? after lunch we hugged goodbye and i rushed home to nurse you. later as i changed your clothes, i paused to take you in and reflect. i reminded myself that it was i that made sacrifice after sacrifice to give you life. it was i that worked so hard day and night to put those rolls on your arms. and that little smile that i see on your face is JUST for me.

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the effect of her being

“But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive:

for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts;

and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been,

is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life,

and rest in unvisited tombs.”

– George Eliot, Middlemarch

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Heather Robinson

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Amanda Voelker

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