A few weeks ago I blogged the beautiful, perfectly crazy Buhalis family’s Saturday Morning Session. But I purposely left out a short series of pictures because I felt like they needed to be on their own. They needed more words. More space. More time.
Before any session, I talk with my clients a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. It’s not just about what their kids do every day, but about what they, the parents, do. How they feel. Who they are. Our children’s memories start with ours. It’s important to me to understand exactly where parents are coming from. What’s in their heads and hearts. Our conversations lead to some unique discoveries. Many times the mom or dad didn’t know something was important until we talked about it. For this family, I was talking with her about her daily family routine and was instantly stopped by her comment that she helps her youngest son get dressed.
Why is that important to me when nearly everyone else wouldn’t bat an eye?
Because it’s a moment that is repeated day in and day out for years on end, and yet we barely take notice of it. Probably because it’s our every day. And those things easily become mundane. But I don’t see it as mundane. To me, it’s wondrous. It’s not simply helping a child get dressed. It’s helping a child stand… in more ways than one.
When we’re in the thick of things, it’s hard to remember that helping them dress won’t last forever. It slowly fades. Most of the time we don’t even notice when they stop asking for help. Usually we’re too busy pushing down the road to independence to notice that they no longer need us in the same way.
For this mom of three, the simple act of helping a child get dressed has been a part of her life for nearly nine years now. If you have more than one kid, you might not even realize that you’ve been assisting someone getting dressed for such a long period of time.
When I look at these pictures, I don’t just see a mom helping her child get dressed… I see a mom with an uncontrollable love. A mom who devotes her life to her children. She is there for them 24 hours a day. She is on-call all of the time and never off duty. And when she helps her youngest get dressed, I see her patience. I see his dependence. And I also see the end in sight. He will wake up one day soon and dress himself… just like her other two. While that will be lovely and freeing, it hurts my heart a little. For these are our babies, and it is at this age when we are their everything.
In my own home we are at a transitioning place. My youngest is dressing himself 80% of the time. I guess that’s why these pictures hit home for me.
I can practically feel the weight of his tiny hands on her shoulders. And the slight struggle as he wiggles into his shorts.
I’m so, so, so glad that she has these pictures. Sometimes that’s all you need to move from one stage to the next. A memory. A reminder.