A Mom and her Daughters
I wanted to share a few photos from a late summer session with a mom and her two daughters. This session is special to me because their mother, Dorinda, is a former student of mine from my days of teaching art at Keith Junior High School. Now we are both moms of two children and are in similar phases because our children are of similar ages. We are both always learning and also treasuring the moments we know in advance to be fleeting. We try to hold so much together and guide our children as much as we can. I was interested in what Dorinda is learning right now as a mom and where she finds joy and inspiration. This story is about that.
I asked Dorinda to compare when she was a new mom to herself as a mom today to see what she has learned about herself. She said, "I can't remember life before my children. Time goes by so fast. I learned that no matter what struggle comes my way, I really am able to overcome it. Being a mother made me a better person, knowing I have two little girls watching my every move and looking up to me. Every day I learn something new!"
I asked what she thought she has learned about children and she said that she has learned that "they have so much love to give and lots of energy. I have learned to cherish every moment." When she stopped to think about how fast it seems that our children grow up, she said, "They taught me to be a lot more patient. They are a blessing."
I have a friend, Kelly, who asked her daughters last year, "What does it mean to be successful?" The girls answered that success would be visible by love and caring for others in their lives. She knew they wouldn't say something like "money" in response to her question but their deep understanding filled Kelly with pride and hope. So, I think it's an essential question for us to ask ourselves through parenting.
What is most important for your our children to grow up and know deep in their hearts?
Dorinda said, "I want my girls to always be happy and believe in themselves, always work hard it pays off. Always be kind and loving. I want them to know how much they are loved. I hope that they help others and know that they can always come to me no matter what. I will be there through it all."
These girls seem so sweet together. I didn't ask for these moments other than that they could lay down in the grass. These images that are full of love aren't dictated but are just naturally what happened. Dorinda said that a favorite heartwarming moment that occurs regularly is that they yell "I love you!" and "I love you more!" down the stairs to her each night. She appreciates being able to hug and comfort her girls at this stage and recognizes that they give her comfort right back when they make her laugh and cheer her up in a moment of feeling down.
Both of my girls are very girly and have huge personalities. My oldest makes me laugh with her jokes and silliness. My youngest is very different. She makes me laugh because she's always dancing and getting into something that I just have to laugh about.
Hope for the Future:
"What hope do you have for their futures," I asked Dorinda. Its one of the most natural questions to ask ourselves as we are raising the future. Dorinda said, "I hope my girls grow up to be happy and always follow their dreams. Being a parent has been the biggest challenge but most rewarding. They keep me going and I wouldn't change a thing."
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