This post is so long overdue, but one I’m happy to save for the last of the year. I want to remember every part of the hardest year. This year was the last hurdle, the last part of the race, the finish line to a very long 6 year journey of his education. For all of last year & part of the year before my husband lived away from home for 18 months while attending school. I stayed home to work two jobs & raise our toddler under two. We got to see him for the weekends & during two 7 day breaks. So when we entered a contest for one of my absolute favorite photographers in the world Weeno Photography I knew what I wanted to have captured. I didn’t want to dress us up in pretty clothes I’d never wear, put on a smile that most days I struggled to have, sit in awkward positions that you’d never find us in. I didn’t want fake. I wanted to remember the rawness of this season. The boring. The mundane. The every day that is so ordinary it slips from the mind without hesitation. I wanted to remember the season that I trudged through with a heart that often complained more than it gave thanks. I asked her to capture our weekend. The only time we were together was filled with laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, staying home, not getting dressed into real clothes, no makeup & the real side to parenting. I wanted to remember, above all, the truth of this season.
Let me explain the melancholy. I want to remember the truth of not what we did, but who we were in this season. Who we became. I want to remember the way in which God carried us every day. How he held every prayer, every tear, every weary breath of exhaustion. I want to remember every moment of this season of hard.
Because celebrating the hard magnifies the victories. There was so much growth & joy tucked into those precious days spent within those boring, ordinary, routine, chore filled days. This is what my heart will take from this season. The love notes I hid in his bags. How we said goodbye lovingly in the kitchen each Monday morning. The late hours I served my family by pouring into my home each weeknight. The way motherhood became my identity through every illness, milestone & development. Those silly times I daily made a fool of myself for every little toddler smile. Our forts made of dreams, blankets & string. My dinners of toddler finger foods & milk through straws (I’m 30). The slobbery kisses given to the phone screen that held daddy’s face every night. That overly frantic joyous childhood shriek of excitement for returned embraces on Friday nights. Staying up way to late for a snuggle of all piled high on the couch. Their fuzzy images on the baby monitor asleep in his big boy bed together, my boys. How I would stare at his face late into the night trying to memorize every freckle on Sunday night.
…So many will take for granted these every day moments. Not even given them space in their heart for a memory. Yet when they become rare, you find yourself fighting desperately to treasure every second. To remember the smell of your love, the way you are held, the freckles on his face. Anything that will get you through the days apart until you meet again. Through this season of long days, strength & faith has been birthed far more than any other place in our lives. I’ve watched him grow from the man I married to that father he was always to be. I found a woman inside who’s abilities & endurance still ceases to amaze me, my confidence in myself as a mother has grown ten fold. Through this season I have walked in the most raw & honest way with my God above, yet he has never left me. His promises for the blessing us home always our cadence to keep marching
This season of hard is our truth. Yet so are the bountiful victories tucked in between.