As I was setting up for a recent studio portrait, my kids came along to, a-hem, "help." Syl enjoyed opening the large umbrellas and pulling stands open. Easton would tighten a bolt down here and there, then pretend my lights were guns (since he always hears me say 'I'm going on a shoot.') I need to reconsider language sometimes.
Upon getting the stuff all set up and ready, I wanted to pop off some test shots (see what I mean about language?!). The kids were eager to participate in a real deal photo shoot, posing and making ridiculous faces. All this running around made them hot, so they pulled their shirts off (a standard in our house, being naked that is). As I watched them jump around the white background, they looked so old to me. My children, the ones I grew in my womb, are free-thinking, monkey-jumping, reading & drawing fools. And here I am, the same age I've been for the past 6 years, nothing more than a few number changes, lots of grey hairs, and darkening eye circles of a woman.
I don't think everyone is suited for motherhood, the way children mirror your good and your bad, the way they remind you how we are selfish people, from start to finish, the way they make your heart swell and burst every single day. No, it's not for everyone, and I appreciate those without kids every day. They are the ones that I turn to for my complaints, and they turn to my kids for the occasional hug or hi-five.
After the kids were being crazy wild and it was time to go, I asked them to stand back-to-back for one shot. I had one chance to get it, and this was it. Sylvia slouching and sticking her rounded belly out, the belly that keeps her a baby and stops her from being 12. Her look shows contentment in the fact that she is part of something bigger. Easton with his annoyed face, trying his damndest to muster through his mother's request (he knows I'm relentless), and also trying to mimic whatever pose his sister is pulling off. Neither quite smiling, both holding bits of Dave and I in every fiber of their being. These two, they rip and shred my heartstrings every minute of the day, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.