I woke up this morning and, as I’m wont to do, grabbed my phone and checked Instagram. I was met with a picture of a photography friend and fellow Vienna resident, sitting on a dorm room floor, reading the new Harry Potter book to her daughter. The caption said something along the lines of how she’d take any chance she can get to read to her daughter again.
We still read to our girls. Admittedly some nights I don’t feel like it, instead craving that alone time that feels so precious and rare. But the girls love it and we’ve read some great books together. Then the thought that one day it will end hits me. Whether it is because they get tired of it or because they go off to college and distance makes it hard if not impossible, it doesn’t matter — these moments are fleeting.
So I put my phone down and decided it was time for coffee, because tears before coffee is just not on the agenda for today. After a brief panic that we might actually be out of sugar, I managed to make my coffee and settle in with my computer.
Each girl came downstairs, a little bleary eyed, and sat with me for a bit chitter chattering about different things. Elisabeth wanted to talk about the upcoming Vienna Jammers camp, while Charlotte wanted to talk about her adventures in solving a Rubik’s cube. Apparently she had a white corner and not a green corner and this wasn’t good. I was only midway through my coffee, so while I enjoyed the sound of her voice, I wasn’t actually processing the words.
And then they went off to watch their morning shows, a ritual that has persisted in this house for many, many years. The sounds of Phinneas and Ferb, Arthur, Girl Meets World seem to be the soundtrack of my morning coffee. At least Phinneas and Ferb is funny.
I settled in with my coffee and started reading an e-book that I was recently gifted by David DuChemin entitled A Beautiful Anarchy. I thought it was about the creative process. I recently met David at a photography workshop in Canada. He’s my kind of person – witty, smart, creative, full of that whacky creative energy – so I was pretty excited to dig in to something personal he had written about creating and creatives.
Wouldn’t you know it – the first bit was all about how life is short and if you die with a blank canvas, you’re going to be pretty bummed out now, aren’t you? Luckily I don’t think I’m personally at any risk of my proverbial canvas being blank, but if there is anything that the last 3 years have taught me – it is that you have no promises of tomorrow and no promises of a lovely post-kids retirement, so if you have a mark to make you better make it now.
This is all an awful lot to process before my second cup of coffee, let alone my first.
But it was just the swift kick I needed to start a personal project that has been brewing for awhile.
I love to write. I guess that is part of what drew me to being a lawyer (getting paid by the word!) and part of why I have at least 3 blogs – none of which have been touched in years aside from this… my “professional” one. So my plan has been to pick a photo each week that meant something particularly interesting, meaningful, funny, whatever and write about it. Sometimes it might be technical, sometimes more creative – but I’m hoping to create a series of photo essays that I can look back on and remember specifics about the time.
So this week, my first week, is a photo from yesterday.
It is of one of my dearest friends on this planet (Melissa), her daughter, and my Elisabeth. Melissa and I met in law school. I was barely pregnant and Melissa would find out she was pregnant a few months later. We were in class with a bunch of kids just out of college who were horrified enough by my wedding band, not to mention the fact I could easily put back a burrito dos manos from Baja Fresh as I gained 50 (!!) pounds over the course of the next 6 months and then birthed a child. It was good to have another adult to laugh at the fact my huge self could not fit into a chair that was physically attached to the desk, and another adult who also understood that a contracts exam wasn’t the defining point in our lives.
But Melissa was also much more than that. We developed a friendship much deeper than law school acquaintances and now our lives are happily entwined through not only our friendship but the friendship of our families with each other. Side note: it is a darn good thing our kids like each other! Otherwise they’d really not enjoy vacations and random Saturdays very much!
Melissa and her family are good people – like *really* good people. The kind that do the right thing when no one else is watching. So, we’re pretty lucky to have them in our lives. Elisabeth is also pretty lucky to have Melissa as her soccer coach since she was 4 yrs old.
Melissa has instilled a love of the game not only in Elisabeth, but in the rest of us as well. When we started down this soccer journey, I truthfully knew nothing of the game and was one of those people who would have told you it was boring because there isn’t enough scoring. Watching your children play a sport that they love through and through will make a fan out of even the hardest heart and Elisabeth *loves* soccer.
We’ve all become rabid US Women’s National Team fans, as well as rabid fans of our local soccer team, the Washington Spirit. This summer we’re closely following the Olympics and yesterday we got together with Melissa and family to watch the game. They walked in the door and the scene in this picture immediately unfolded. Melissa and the girls, on the floor in front of the tv, talking about the lineup. What did it MEAN that JJ wasn’t in at defense?! How would we meet France’s speed? So I snapped the shutter and hopefully captured what it felt like in that moment. The tete a tete amongst three soccer fanatics who love each other and the game.
A wise soul recently told me something that I’ve known in the back of my head but not heard outright: shoot how it feels, not how it looks. I sometimes find myself wrapped up in the technical and putting pictures on the cutting room floor that should really belong in my memories, if not in my portfolio. This image was how it felt to me. Huddled together in anticipation.
We’ve got seven more years with these two before we’re hopefully reading a book to them while sitting on their college dorm room floor. Of course none of that is promised, we can only hope and pray that those moments happen. So I’m going to try and treasure what I have in front of my face and not count the days that remain.
I think it is high time for that second cup of coffee. My baby turns 9 tomorrow. Time just keeps marching on.