Molly VanDamme Photography | The “Little Things” That Are Really Everything

The “Little Things” That Are Really Everything

January 31, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

“Where did our babies go, and who replaced them with big kids?!” my friend asked as we looked at the most recent photos of our children.

This has been quite an emotional year and a half year for me, personally, as well as for some of my closest friends as we each embarked on our first journey into motherhood.  Everyone said, “Enjoy the time you have with them, they grow up so fast.” or, “You’ll miss the little things – even the crying!” 

‘Yeah, sure I will,’ I thought as, Liam, my infant son screamed his lungs out while simultaneously projecting vomiting on me.  ‘I’m sure I’ll miss the heck out of this.’

Well, as we celebrated my best friends’ daughter turning one yesterday – I did.  I didn’t necessarily miss the cleanup or the smell of certain things – but as our kids were running around together, playing with toys on their own, throwing balls at one another, carrying their cups of fruit, and being wonderfully independent, I missed the baby days.  *sigh*  Then the littlest guest, a precious five week old girl started crying – the cute baby cry that lets a mother know she is needed - and I melted.    As the little cry continued, and I looked at the other moms in the room, and sure enough the, “I miss that!”, “Enjoy these times while they last” or “Agh, that cry is so cute!” came flooding out of our mouths.  The mom of the baby girl, as if on cue, laughed and said, “Yeah, sure…”

They say you’ll miss the “little things” – but I never really understood why they called them little.  Maybe because they happen more than once?  Maybe because they’re not always things that last for a long period of time?  I don’t know.  Those moments – they’re not little – they’re everything.

It seems like just yesterday I was able to hold my baby in my arms and rock him to sleep, and today he’s on the move so much that I’m lucky if I get a couple minutes of snuggles in during the day – and he’s only 17 months!  Don’t get me wrong - I’m so proud of him and excited for our adventures to come – but those fleeting, “little”, moments of the first year are just so special, and they are gone before you know it.  So many firsts and once-in-a-lifetime memories, how is it possible that they change so much in such little time? 

There were many times I remember thinking I just wanted to hold and kiss my little Liam …but there was laundry, or dishes, or cleaning, or whatever, and the housework won.  And then I blink and he’s rolling over.  I turn around and he’s crawling.  Leave the room for one minute and he’s walking.  Go upstairs for a moment and he’s talking, running, and has a personality all his own.  When did this happen?! 

There are days I relish in the fact that Liam can entertain himself for a minute while I run to the other room, but there are also many times when I’m remembering the last year and wish he was still a baby, wanting him to need me wholeheartedly the way he used to.  I want to replay the times we would hang on the floor for tummy time.  The nights I would sing him to sleep in his room.  The days I spent moving toys across the room trying to get him to crawl, or the ones when holding my fingers was the only thing that kept him up while he learned how to walk.

 Now, as a photographer, I take a lot of pictures, and I do have photos of those things… kind of.  I have images upon images of Liam.  And a good amount of Liam and my husband, Liam and his grandparents, Liam and his cousins.  But, sadly, I have very few images of us as a family, and even fewer of just me and my little man.  As the lady behind the lens, I often forget that I there are memories to be captured with me in front of it. 

I wish I would have had more pictures take that captured my first year as a mom, or that better portray our first year as a family.  Right now the memories are pretty fresh, but I know they won’t be for forever.  I know I’ll forget what it was like when we took Liam hiking for the first time, the look on his face when he first saw fireworks, the amount of fun in his eyes when he realized just how great splashing was - or simply how much fun we would have just goofing around on a Saturday morning.  I want to remember the way Liam looks at me when he needs me for something, or the excitement in his eyes when he sees his dad – right before he runs full speed into his arms.  I even want to remember his cry, and how quickly he can go from tears to giggles and smiles with a simple peek-a-boo, tickle, or his Wubanub.  These are the memories I want forever, the real ones – the so called “little things” that really, are everything.

So, I’m making a promise to myself that I will document more, and not only the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ moments – but the many, many, many activities that make up the time between.  I want to preserve my crazy, beautiful, fast-moving, every day, real life.

Want to do the same?  Click here to connect with me and we can brainstorm how best to preserve your “little” moments. :)



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