I have been inspired by my friend Tara to take a picture of the five of us once a month for the year. I spend so much time behind the camera that it can look like I am not a part of my own family. I took these images at the Crocker Museum the day before everyone had to go back to work and school after the long holiday break. It had been raining for what seemed like forever and we needed to get out. We got into the car and this is where we ended up.
I have been quiet. I stopped doing Picture Winter because I just felt tapped out and devoid of any creativity whatsoever. I hate that feeling. I can get like that sometimes. I have done some of the assignments here and there, but not the way that I usually do.
The weird thing is that usually a new year motivates me. It motivates me to set new goals for myself and to dream bigger than I did the year before. This year, this did not happen. I still have big dreams, but setting them into action has been harder. I feel heavy and weighed down. Stress usually doesn’t get to me so much and this winter it is taking over. We are trying to sell our house and have a big and short move on the horizon. I have a lot of commitments this time of year that are keeping my mind in other places, when really all I want to do is sit on the couch and get lost in a good book. Or be inspired to take my camera out.
But with the winter that I am dealing with now there are also some bright spots. My children. They are growing up to be people that I am proud of and like being around.
I set my camera on an exhibit and used the self-timer for a family shots.
William turned 7 this month. I really think that I blinked and he became a kid. No longer a little kid, he has crossed the threshold of little kid/big kid. William is a sensitive little soul who is navigating his way through friends and teachers and school and with the joy that it brings me, it also brings me sadness. I am not ready for some of the challenges that a big kid brings. I was not prepared for some of the questions that he would ask me and I was not prepared for the some of the trials he would face. Being a kid these days is hard. Children are exposed to so much and sometimes they can be just plain ol’ mean. One of the greatest moments of my day is hearing him read to me. As a lover of reading and books, it is thrilling to listen to my son read me a story. I hope that he learns to love books as much as I do. I hope that he continues to be the person that he is right now. Kind, sensitive, funny, and thoughtful.
Ava is a handful. One moment she is the sweetest thing around and the next she is mean as a snake. She is very bright and things come easy to her. In that way, she reminds me of her daddy. She gets things that I do not expect a 5 year old to understand. She is such a mother to Clay. She hugs him and comforts him just like I do. She is also very sensitive and had her first taste of what a mean comment can do to a girls self-esteem. It broke my heart to hear my baby girl feel bad about herself because of an insensitive comment made by another. I really thought that I would be dealing with these issues in middle school, not pre-Kindergarten. I guess that is me being naive. Ava reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. She is not into sports or activities, she just wants to be alone with her crayons and colored pencils and that is where she is happiest. Her drawings are colorful, full of life, and just like her.
This picture of Clay and this statue will forever make me laugh. He was so confused by the naked boy and what he was doing. He asked me if he was getting into the tubby and could not understand why he was nakey. He stood there for a very long time trying to figure out what exactly was going on. “Go potty, momma?” “Get in tubby?” It was so fun to take a 2 year old to an art museum and listen to his commentary on the art. We had a really great afternoon and I had no idea that the kids would like the art museum so much. It amazes me to think that a year ago, Clay did not talk at all. He had a speech delay and has worked very hard with an amazing speech pathologist named Annie. I am not sure what she did to him, but all I know is that she got my baby to talk. Now we know what is going on in that little head of his. He is sweetest thing and I am so sad that his baby-like qualities are disappearing so fast. No matter how hard I try, my baby is also crossing the threshold, from baby to little kid.
From here on out, we are going to savor our last days in California. June will be here faster than we know it and I want to spend our last days here filled with love, laughter, and adventure.