October 21, 2019

In Their Words | Time Machine

It’s time for another installment of my “In Their Words” blog series, and people, it’s a doozy.  It choked me up and made me weepy and and made me SO, SO happy that I do what I do.  This particular client has always been a fave, as you can see from what I’ve written about her sessions in the past (most recently HERE, and you can click back from there).  Please read and enjoy, while I sit here and blush.

First, a quick photo …Every once in a while Facebook opens up with a memory or a picture I shared 10, 4, 6 years ago…..the video or photo almost always tugs at my heart. They make me laugh or smile…occasionally a tear slips out or an embarrassed laugh over an outfit, my weight, bad hair color… I have three boys and I have been a mom for twelve years and counting! I’m pretty sure I would spend a million dollars (if I had it) to go back in a time machine and spend just a day with my boys when they were babies….1, 3, and 4 years old. Just to smell them again- that damp baby scent that is always so good and clean and feel their chubby baby bodies. Today they’re 11, 9, and 7 years old. They are all wiry muscle and my house smells like baseball gloves and soccer cleats. Our kitchen smells like body odor, dog, and cookies. Somewhere in the distance teenagers are coming and my heart breaks over how quickly it’s all going.

When I scan through these pictures from our recent photo shoot with Jaye, my heart is full. The last couple years have included a divorce, a move into a new house, at least 100 baseball games, 50 soccer games, 20 football games, and a lot of cookies and baking and working and mom-ing. But this latest round of pictures is sort of icing on my cake….Jaye has been taking pictures of these boys (and me) since they were babies. She has seen, heard, and smelled it all. She’s been here with a new puppy, diapers, a husband, a birthday cake, a pool, the first time without a husband, a new job, a move, and she’s seen it all. More important than just seeing it all, she catches it all with her camera. And all these pictures always tug at my heart and pull it in a million directions like Facebook.

When my divorce started, Jaye took stunning pictures of my boys running around a pond at our old house, but I looked broken and sad. My hair was a funny red color from neglect and my eyes were not my own. I remember worrying that I ruined our pictures or wasted money forcing pictures without my husband around anymore. It’s an interesting memory because the past few years Jaye has gotten shots of my growing boys, but she’s also caught me in a lot of different moments of pain, grief, healing, relief, and this last shoot. I don’t really know what to say about these…I think she caught all of us in happiness. And these pictures shine….it’s like I can see us again and I realize that Jaye has been seeing us this whole time. 

These photos are better than Facebook though because they don’t just pop up every once in a while….I get to keep them and look at them. If our house was burning down, I would grab the kids, the dog, and the albums Jaye has made me. Even when money is tight her work is worth every penny because I see everything in every photo. Every baby step, every tired second, every burned cookie, every beautiful birthday cake. Every sad moment that delivered us here to a moment of real happy. I do need to ‘remember this was beautiful’ sometimes and Jaye’s pictures are a gift because they remind me. They’re also the closest I can get to that time machine I want so badly.

I’m laughing looking at these new shots. Beau is hiding behind a curtain and Dutch is doing a flip on the lawn, Bruce is sitting quietly in his bedroom with a new baseball bat he got for his birthday and I am shining. I am literally glowing with pride and joy and happiness and love and relief and I wish so much I had a million dollars to hold these babies again. But let’s be serious, I don’t have a time machine or a million extra dollars– I have something better. I have all of Jaye’s pictures and the life in my years captured forever. Much cooler than a Facebook memory and much more fun to be in this moment living it.
Call it a freeze ray gun or a time machine … it warms my heart that my camera and I can give this mom a piece of the past with her babies and hold up a mirror to herself so that she can see what she has been to them over the years.  I’m glad she sees happiness in these photos!
Thanks for looking,