Just How I Pictured It

12

April 20, 2013 by Julia

These past two weeks of spring have been particularly beautiful, to the point that I ache. The sunlight through the new green leaves is almost too much. Things are sparkly. Storms are coming. Tulips have bloomed in my garden, and I didn’t have to do a thing to get them here. They just showed up.

It might just be the allergies and rain, but lately I don’t feel fit to socialize with other human beings. I can’t think of things to talk about. I am in a dreamy haze, following my rain-booted children with a camera, trying to capture the fleeting beauty of this season of our lives.

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When the seasons change, I think our perspectives deepen and become more far-reaching. Maybe that’s where the sweet ache comes from. Fall makes me nostalgic for things that are either passing or long gone. Spring makes me long for experiences I can’t quite articulate. Something wild, or luxurious. I want to go out dancing, or hike a mountain, or lie in bed all day with the windows open, reading an entire book. I want to grab it all. The kids seem to feel the same way.

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I can’t help seeing the art in our days. Children are endlessly captivating subjects. They almost literally glow. Their loveliness is like the light at the end of the tunnel – whatever tunnel you happen to find yourself in at that moment.

Photos might not tell the whole story. They don’t tell that on our way to the gardens I had to stop for an emergency preschooler bathroom break in an unknown neighborhood, and I nearly lost it. But the photos can’t entirely lie, either. The beauty they show is actually there – in our little family, in the wide-open sky, in the wind blowing Fiona’s hair.

The entire morning may have been a wash: we left the house in disarray, watched too much TV, lost our patience with one another. But here are my glowing children, running through a garden, getting dirt on their faces, screaming and exploring and splashing. Maybe I am giving them a good childhood, after all. And as for me – I could be in an office somewhere, eating a Lean Pocket (not even a Hot Pocket!) at my desk – but instead I am here, having a picnic. I may not get to eat much during this picnic, and I may have to eventually strap Jack into his stroller to keep him from running away, but still. These are the kinds of experiences that made me want to be a parent.

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So I take a picture, to help me focus on the beauty of it all.

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And there’s that beautiful ache, again.

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12 thoughts on “Just How I Pictured It

  1. Britt says:

    Honestly, one of my favorites so far 🙂 makes me excited to experience parenthood one day. And your children looking like they are perfectly content spending their days with their mommy 🙂

    • Julia says:

      Thank you, Brittany! That means a lot to me. I think if you go into parenthood with equal parts excitement and fear, you won’t be disappointed, ha ha. I can’t wait for you guys to experience it! But no rush! 🙂

  2. Emmie S. says:

    I love the pic of Fiona in the spiral. It captures her spirit. 🙂

  3. Amber Perea says:

    Such beautiful photographs!

  4. I think we’d be friends in real life. 🙂 Last night my kids were on the trampoline with my hubby. The sun was on its way down and was shining on all the new leaves and on the kids’ faces. I had a sudden realization…that I have what I’ve always wanted, right there in front of me.

    • Julia says:

      That’s beautiful. I find myself thinking the same thing whenever I take a moment to reflect. And I agree that we’d be friends! I loved your post on not judging our fellow mamas because we may not know the whole story.

  5. This is beautiful! “Spring makes me long for experiences I can’t quite articulate. Something wild, or luxurious. I want to go out dancing, or hike a mountain, or lie in bed all day with the windows open, reading an entire book. I want to grab it all.” – Gorgeous, perfectly sums up how spring makes me feel, too. Thank you!

  6. Lara says:

    This was stunning. The words, the photos, all of it. Just stunning.

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