And now, for the rest of the story.
About a year ago I mentioned to my sister that I would like a simple, heirloom style dress for Sarah. Something she could wear for a classic portrait and maybe even keep for the possibility of her own daughter or granddaughter. As with everything my sister does, it was beautiful. The dress is sweet and perfectly styled for a six year old. Sarah was elated with the silk slip that came underneath and I was elated with how much like a little girl my little girl looked.
About three weeks ago Sarah’s top tooth started to wiggle. I didn’t panic but I knew we needed to get this portrait session taken care of soon. Then we were out of town, then she got sick, then Brent was out of town, and I did start to panic. I’m already a little bit of a wreck about my baby losing her teeth and the thought of her mouth taking on a life of its own before I had my perfect portrait of my precious girl was enough to give me cold sweats.
Finally the stars aligned and last night was it. We hurriedly ate dinner and then got her dressed, trying desperately to beat the sunset. As we drove toward the spot I had chosen the sky began to give off the most beautiful pinky golden glow. Man was it ever worth the wait.
I clasped my daughter’s hand as we crossed the street, headed toward the grassy hill I had in mind. As we walked I basked in the joy of being fully present with her. As much as I wanted to create a portrait that captured her I also wanted to create a moment that would capture me. I wanted to remember my daughter – everything about her in this beautifully fleeting moment in time. The way her skinny fingers feel in my hand. How she worries her pretty little head about everything (on this particular evening it was the possibility of thunder). How she scrunches her nose up when she giggles. The admonishing way she looks at me when I tease her. Oh how I desperately want to remember.
Fifteen minutes, a few worried glances toward the sky, and one extreme spider sighting later, it was over. I clasped that skinny little hand once again as we crossed back over the street, headed for ice cream. As we chatted over our chosen flavors (hazelnut pecan for me, mint chocolate chip for her) I asked her if she thought she’d do this same thing with her little girl one day.
If I’m a good mom I will, she replied.
And that was it. The evening was etched on my heart forever.