“Dan clung to her in speechless gratitude, feeling the blessedness of mother love, — that divine gift which comforts, purifies, and strengthens all who seek it.”
―Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s Boys
I’ll never forget one of my first nights at home as a parent.
As the dark eclipsed day and my body, weary with new mother worry sat in her rocking chair, tears streaming down my face- I didn’t know how to soothe her squirmy little body, didn’t know how to comfort her cries- How could I not know what she needed? Was I not who she needed?
It was one of those times I needed my own mama, one of the many times she was there for me as I pray I’ll give to my own.
She brought me food and let me sleep and stayed up with the little one who isn’t really so little anymore, nestling next to her on the floor through the night, letting her suckle on her pinkie finger until I would nurse her and hand her back over.
I just needed one night, watched her set aside her own needs for me, and realized this was now my own task, my own calling, my own chapter, my own blessing of not knowing and still stepping forward, giving as the rhythm as breath, inhale, exhale, selflessness, sacrifice, steadiness, strength.
This is motherhood.
And thus just about five years ago I photographed them as sleepy-eyed new parents, cautious and overjoyed.
And then again a little while later as they gave their eldest a best friend for life.
And now as the proverb says, there is a cord of three strands, not easily broken.
And as full as their parents’ tender pride is, their delight in the sisterhood,
each time I’ve walked in their home in those days of vulnerable transition I see more clearly-
their light, their love,
it comes from
who they come from.
Three generations in frames in front of me, I see it all-
tender compassion, gentle strength, radiating warmth and beauty,
it extends from history into legacy,
ripples through the generations.