This portrait of my son was taken when I was 21. Life was pretty messy back then (literally and figuratively), I wouldn’t find out until years later that I was dealing with a long-term illness and had undiagnosed Postpartum Depression. In general when I think back to this time frame, my chest still gets uncomfortably tight. But when I look at this image, still displayed in my home, I smile.
When we document our children, we often think how one day we are going to look back and reminisce as to how they got so big, so fast. We often look back on newborn photos and think, ‘They were so tiny!’ For all of you that are ‘newish’ moms, I will tell you – that feeling never really goes away. Not when they are a newborn. Not when they are 8. Not when they are 17. You will always look back and be amazed that you didn’t realize they would go through so much more growing.
The beautiful secret is, it doesn’t end there. Behind whatever stage your child was in that you are looking back on in photos, you will reflect on yourself. You felt so old but you were so young! You had no idea the incredible twists and turns life still had in store for you and your family, the gifts that awaited you all. Moments so precious that had you just known back then, you may have documented even more of them.
This portrait was taken of my son when life was messy – and we conquered it. It wasn’t always pretty but I’m constantly reminded of how beautiful it was. This isn’t just a cute image of him as a fun toddler; it’s a declaration of where we’ve been and how far we can still go.
Teresa Robertson is a Photography-degree, award-winning, published Photographer specializing in all things women & birth. Maternity, Birth, Newborn, Children, or Family, she proudly serves multiple locations, including D.C., Atlanta, Michigan, Orlando, and Oahu. Her Fine Art series ‘Mele Ma’i: Procreation Chants’ can be found here. For information on Bereavement Photography, please visit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep