Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sidewalk Lines and Chipped Nail Polish

I am a sentimental momma. 

A momma who likes to take pictures. 

momma who almost always has a camera within arm's reach. 

A momma who tries to capture real moments of this chapter of our story so that one day, when I'm wrinkly and grey and sitting alongside my hub as we look back on our life, we'll smile through our tears at the beautiful story we told together. 

It's more than that, though. 

For me, the photos I take are not just about capturing the innocent and beautiful faces of my sweet babies as they grow and change each day. 

Yes, it's so much more than that for me. 

The photos I take are cues that serve to immediately take me back to the moments surrounding the photos. The memories, the moments. So vivid. So clear.

These are the moments I cherish as each new page of our story is turned.

Take this photo, for instance: 

At first glance, this is nothing more than a photo of a few sidewalk slabs. But look closely. Those lines that have been etched into the newly laid sidewalk? Those are wagon lines from a red Radio Flyer wagon. A red Radio Flyer wagon that carried a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, while the smell of Coppertone sunscreen floated through the air and the crunch of dry Cheerios and ice water slurps served as the afternoon's soundtrack. That 3-year-old and that 1-year-old rode for over 2 miles, at a slow, comfortable pace, behind their Momma's steady pull. You see, much of our early days in Fort Mill were spent like this: on red Radio Flyer walks around the neighborhood, together, just the three of us, as we went out in search of new adventures and new friends in our new surroundings. This photo reflects just that: a new adventure for our family, one full of uncertainty, but also, hope. One we would embark on together. I treasure this photo and the love and promise that it holds: As long as we are together, everything will be okay. 

And then, there's this photo: 

Initially, it appears to be but a slightly aged hand decorated with well-worn fingernail polish on a single, pinky finger. But it is more than that. This is the receding, hot pink polish that was delicately painted on a Momma's fingernail during her 2-year-old daughter's first manicure: A daughter who was initially hesitant to have her own nails painted as part of her birthday celebration. A daughter who needed Momma to go first to show her, as Mommas often do, that everything will be okay. When I look at this photo, I can feel the slight weight of her 2-year-old body on my lap and feel the warmth of her tiny, pink terry cloth robe against my skin as her eyes stare intently at the polish being painted on her Momma's nail. I can hear the sounds of water splashing and children laughing in the indoor swimming facility just beyond our view. The smell of acetone and fresh, wet polish lightly dance through the air. And then, I can clearly see, in the pink-adorned room while sitting on her Momma's lap, she gains her confidence. She sits quietly, patiently, having her own nails painted with hot pink polish and topped with glitter that sparkles just as brightly as the rhinestones atop the plastic crown adorning her golden hair. We will have many more adventures together as our story unfolds. This photo captures what I hope she will always know: Momma is a safe place to go when the world feels uncertain. Always. 

These moments. These memories. This is our life. This is our story. Captured with the single click of a camera. 

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