there's something about black & white photos that just bring a clarity or crispness to a moment in time. without the colors, they so simply capture exactly what was happening & always make me pause a little longer.
when i was flipping through the photos my amazing friend val took for us (she's launching her photography business & offered to take photos of e & me -- can't tell you how grateful i am! you'll see more this week -- she's so, so incredible) -- i was struck my this simple truth i've been trying to really embrace: these are of me & my daughter. i know this may even sound ridiculous, but in my mind, up until now, all the preparation, the learning curve, the milestones, etc -- have been about me & my baby.
this is a huge leap in my mind. it's somehow plausible i could have a baby -- but a daughter?! no way. i'm still the daughter! in a mother/daughter relationship, i so firmly fill the daughter role. it's where i spent 27 yars & i'm much more comfortable there. & yet, as ellie is nine months and looking more like a child & less like a baby every day, i find myself trying to figure out what this might look like. there are these moments when i need to call her my daughter -- when i call the pediatrician's office & say, "i'd like to make an appointment for my (pause) daughter (pause)..." (hoping it sounds at all believable i could have a daughter to make an appointment for!) or other times when i'm talking with strangers & find myself slowly making the shift from "my baby" to "my daughter" when i mention her. well, these photographs helped nudge me a bit closer to comfort with that.
here's why: one of my favorite & the simplest of joys ellie & i have each day is reading together. of course reading with a nine month old, as val so accurately captured -- involves cuddling, putting the book down, talking, pointing, flipping the pages, & holding onto our favorite eggplant toy. also, you don't quite get through the story & it's a lot more of a contact sport than when i read alone, but i love it.
& i know that books like this eloise one (it's very dear to us -- ellie's full name is nora eloise :) we're reading in these photographs will be books we read many, many times. some day, she will sit still & ask me questions. we might even make it through the whole book. & then, all of the sudden, she'll be reading it to me. one day i may even get to watch her read it to her daughter. that's when it really sinks in -- yes, this is my baby, but more importantly -- this is my daughter. & we have a long road ahead together.