Yesterday my daughter, my first-born, the one who made me a mother – she turned twelve. She is really amazing.
I’ve been taking photographs of her since she was in my belly, probably thousands. I’ve taken these candle-wish photos on every birthday, and also a picture right at her birth time every single year. We are well-documents, my husband will tell you, and I treasure each image.
You cannot take enough of them.
The reason for that is so simple. It is not to overwhelm you, it is not to overwhelm your house (or your husband). It is because you never know which ones will be the most ordinarily meaningful. It probably won’t be the prom picture or the dressed up for Easter one. It will be some random everyday shots when you thankfully picked up your camera and when you saw the image on a screen or in your hand, you see into the image and you know, that’s the soul of her, the part I have to remember.
This picture is so ordinary, but so amazing for me, the mama of a beautiful girl on her twelfth birthday. She’s helping me with her cake. There are no devices. She doesn’t own one so there’s no texting and whatevering between friends, and I don’t need mine to make cake. It’s just us. It’s too yucky outside so we’re inside together, making her buttercream frosting and putting the homemade chocolate cake together. I want to preserve this girl, but I know I can’t, so I have this. She’s how sweet you are on your birthday, feeling so incredibly special and realizing just how much goes into making this day for you. I have dedicated the day to birthday-ing while she’s at school. She is a gift.