Kids Were Here

When I was first asked to be a part of this project, I was admittedly very excited for the group of photographers I'd be working with. They're an amazingly talented group of women. I was also looking forward to documenting a new aspect of our lives, which I gave little (or no) attention to with the camera. Yet it is such a significant part of our everyday. These left-behind toys, the messes, the food, the strewn about clothes; somedays, I think they're staring me in the face, laughing. You vacuumed? ha! You just emptied the sink? Too bad! The entry way has been cleared of shoe piles & coat mountains? Nope, not today! But a funny thing happened to me, with this photo project. I am now pausing more & taking more deep breaths. Do I still enjoy all these messes? If I'm being honest, not so much, but incorporating my photography into the daily disasters has given me a new perspective. I know that 'the days are long, but the years are short,' but sometimes I have to remind myself about the years. Most the time the kids remind me, even though I prefer being reminded by myself. When they do the reminding, like a week ago when Ry finished kindergarten, it sort of provided a big ole' emotional jerk that I was completely unprepared for. Even though I know it's happening, I'm still not ready for it. I'm not sure I'm ready for all the 'remember when's...' either, but I don't have much choice. So I see this project as the perfect opportunity to help me treasure what's happening now, & embrace it.

Remember when you (Covey) kept sneaking the raspberry muffins off the counter, you thought I didn't know you we're doing it.

Remember when you (Ry) always left a shoe by the upstairs door, & then we could never find a pair, as you rushed out the door to school.

Remember when you boys loved waffles for breakfast (Covey, you were especially particular about it being topped with maple syrup & jam).

Remember when you (Covey) ripped a whole in my favorite tablecloth & you (Ry) tried to fix it with duct tape, when you were supposed to practice your violin.

Remember all those socks you boys left lying throughout the house, & how many times you (Ry) couldn't find socks on school mornings.

Remember that doll Nanny made you (Ella) for your first birthday.

Remember that Cheerios box we turned into a mask, which you boys didn't wear much, but pulled out of your costume box excessively...I think to remind us to smile!

Remember that morning you (Covey) asked for eggs for breakfast; I told you when I was done changing Ella & then came out to find a counter covered in eggs, thankfully unbroken.

Remember how much you boys thought of yogurt as dessert.

Remember that wagon you (Ella) loved to push around, always filled with a random selection of toys.

Remember that time you (Covey) put black tape across the cabinet drawers, to apparently keep me out.

Remember those birdhouses you boys made at the Refuge Center, with so much excitement!

Remember all of those little superhero guys.

Remember that first week of summer break, when we rode bikes to the river almost daily.