I have been photographing this little guy’s family since before his big sister was born. I’ve watched them transition from a family of two, to three, to four, and I was so thrilled to take his one year pictures. Every year for their birthdays, their mom has written her kids letters summarizing the previous year and sharing hopes and dreams for their futures. In honor of his one year shoot, mommy wanted to share her letter to Aidan. Here’s to another year of adventures!
You are now one year old. I am still perhaps in denial that you are getting big. I insist to myself that you are still small, that you are still my little baby, that tiny screaming thing that I held to my chest in the hospital while repeatedly asking if you were a boy. I was in disbelief that I had a son. What would I do with a boy? I was so used to having a daughter, to growing up around only girls. I loved you, but I didn’t know what to do with you. I knew vaguely that you might like things like roughhousing, climbing, dirt, and sports. That was all in the future, though. All babies need the same thing to start out. They need to be held and cared for and loved. I determined to love you from the very start, to keep you close to me. I could never have guessed the type of bond that can form between a mother and a son. I cannot describe the pride I felt that your first word was “mama.” All those times you reached for me, when you wanted no one else to cuddle you and rock you to sleep. My smiling, laughing, beautiful, happy boy…you bring me so much joy. Watching you roll over at two weeks, crawl at just a few months, walk – run! – well before turning a year old…you are so determined. So strong. So resilient. Now day by day I listen to you learn new words, play new games, explore new places. And yes, you already like to climb, and throw things, and play in the dirt. But you also love to sit and read, to point and wait in curiosity for an explanation. I wonder who you will be, if you will maintain this joy that permeates your day and brings happiness to those around you. I wonder if you will love sports, if you will do all those things that I assumed that boys like to do. I hope that you will be as soft as you are strong – that you will have a compassionate heart, even if you have a stubborn streak. I hope that somewhere deep down, your heart remembers every night that I spent holding you longer than I should have, sacrificing my sleep for the chance to cling to this little boy who would not be small enough to hold forever. Your soft, round head and downy white hair, your chubby pink cheeks, your mouth and nose that look just like your daddy’s…I treasure the moments that I spend taking all this in, taking pictures in my mind because I know this time is fleeting. I pray that no matter where you go, that who you become or what you like or what you do, that you remember how very much you are loved. You’re my little man, my son, the fire in my heart. I love you, bud.
Thank you C family for letting me photograph your growing family year after year and giving me a peek into your wonderful family! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of you!