woohoo! Back to work it is – this was my first wedding as a mother and as a California resident! How lovely it was to hop on over to Pasadena and be back home by supper! This is something I rarely enjoyed even in New York. Another rarity being that I actually never met Sheela and Dave until their wedding day as I became their photographer a the last minute – in wedding terms anyway. How lovely and in love they are!
I had the absolute pleasure of spending my very first afternoon back to work since Uma was born, with the beautiful and talented Leah Kua, from Australia. It’s always a little (a lot??) nerve wrecking to photograph another photographer! But when I arrived at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, I was met with an amazingly gorgeous, photogenic woman who I couldn’t wait to get in front of my camera! I couldn’t imagine a better person, or a better atmosphere to spend my first afternoon away from Uma ji.
This past year, I’ve had to shift focus. I submitted myself to the task of creating a person, incubating her inside of me and now watching her in a constant marvel (she used to be INSIDE OF ME?? WHAT?!?!). Being a mother is a constant and unending revelation, one after the other every day. Revelations about myself, about the opportunities I want to give her, about my own mother, about how I was raised, about no making any more excuses for myself, about being a good example. And then we moved to California. And then I took a break.
I’ve felt so far away from the other child of mine, my business. So full of revelations that one has been in my life. And the season returns, just in time for my weary mommy bones to finally be ready. And it’s glorious. Look out.
My dear Uma’s 3 month birthday was also Mother’s Day. On this day, she is no longer a newborn, but a baby. She smiles, she laughs, she coos and cries and yells and squeals. And I am SO GRATEFUL for her gift. I have a family that I love, that I long to spend time with. A husband who brings me breakfast in bed almost every day, who tells me every day that I’m a good mother, who sighs in adoration each time he looks upon the daughter we made together. Who makes me feel beautiful, even with my changed body and spirit. My hands are full, with feeding, holding, cuddling, burping, vomiting, and nonsensical conversations that I look forward to every day. My heart is full, too.
Happy Mother’s day, everyone. You earned it.
I never thought I’d have a baby who’d have blue eyes at any point in her life. We’ve roamed the aisles of Target together, and people ask if she’s mine because she’s so fair. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t shove food down my throat so I could return to her. So I could nurse her, touch her, smell her, hold her, and relish in the bond of motherhood. The feeling that a piece of your heart has exited your body, and is now drooling in your hair and turning your soul to fireworks with goofy, gummy smiles, shaking your core to shambles with cries of distress and frustration. Pieces of me, pieces of a man named Husbone, together created a living, breathing creature made from our love.
My mother loves to tell the story of how I would keep myself in check when I was a baby. She says I was 18 months old, and I was left alone in the TV room. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV, but I really, really wanted to turn it on. So I went up to the TV, and stared at the buttons which would make it turn on. I reached for them, and then pulled my hand away, saying to myself, simply, “no.” Over and over again, she spied me as the battle with myself wore on. I never turned on the TV. And to this day I admit, I’ve always had a problem breaking the rules, as much as I may long to. (Husbone has always been trying to get me to stand on the marble in the square by the Apple Store on 5th Avenue inNYC. It’s against the rules. I’ve yet to oblige him.)
She is 8 weeks old today.
She is at once growing up to fast, and a person I can’t remember life without. Her life flashes before my eyes every moment of the day, as her personality emerges. She’s talkative, smiley, easy going, and loud. She sleeps until 10 am every morning, and rolls out of bed after a 30 minute stretching session accompanied by lavish grunts and groans that could rival that of a grown man waking up the morning after a long hard day of work. She acts like a feral squirrel when she’s not getting enough milk from my breast. She rolls her little hands into fists and carries them close to her face when she’s unsure. She knits her brow a lot. The sun is too bright for her. And she really wants to learn to wiggle her tongue back and forth. And I wonder, who will she become? What of who she is now will persist? And what stories will I remember?
She’s been in quite a state today. Insatiable, demanding, pouty, squirmy. I relish her discoveries, for better or for worse. Uma Bean is emerging forth with each day that passes, and I don’t want to miss a second of it.