Stories in Seven | March | Norman, OK Family Photographer
Welcome back to Stories in Seven! This is a monthly blog circle where you will find a collective of storytelling photographers doing what they do best; telling stories. When you get to the end of this post, please click on the link at the bottom to join the next photographer as she shares with you a personal story told in just seven frames, keep on going until you've come full circle.
It's been a tough few weeks for me. The cold dreary weather, and the monotony of daily domestic responsibilities has left me in a funk. It would appear that I am the not the only one in the Roberts household feeling this way. My youngest has become VERY emotional as of late. She has been my most challenging child: always into things she shouldn't be, defiant, sneaky, constantly pushing my buttons and her boundaries. She is without a doubt her mother's child: curious to a fault, demanding, and stubborn, oh so stubborn. Mothering her is so often frustrating and guilt laden. I find myself loosing my mind and temper with her far more than I care to admit. It's a little obscene actually how many times a day I have to separate myself from her so I don't start yelling and throwing things.
Today was one of those days. Parents, you know what I'm talking about. The days you are left wondering if you are doing any of it right. Well, today was it. One disagreement, followed by a fit, followed by a complete melt down, then another. It was a full day of non-stop power struggles. It was exhausting watching her melt down. I felt every bit of her distress. Everything in me wanted to pick her up and hold her to soothe those fried nerves, but she didn't want to be held, or touched, or even nursed which has always been her go-to comfort measure. I was at my wits end when I picked up the camera to remove myself from the chaos; putting just enough space between her and me to ensure her safety while respecting her boundaries. It's amazing to me how perspectives change through a viewfinder. I calmed down, focused, ands reminded myself that whatever frustrations, and anger, and helplessness I was feeling, she had it a thousand times worse, because let's face it, being a baby is really stinkin' hard! It was up to me to be the grown up, let go of my own ego, and give her what she needed to help work through whatever internal struggle she was wrestling with. In that moment being present and patient was enough. I envy her really; the ability to voice her wants, needs, and disappointments so immediately and forcefully without inhibition. I wish I could do that - feel it, get it out, and move on. I hope she doesn't lose all of that as she grows.
I know that as she gets older, things will calm down for us both. I take great comfort in knowing that this is just what toddlers do and it will pass. Hell, one day I may even miss these moments. Until then, I will try to embrace the chaos, recognize the beauty in her growth however tumultuous it may be, and be grateful that I can be there to safely guide her as she learns to navigate her complicated, emotional, confusing, world. And in the future, I know without any shadow of doubt, that I should absolutely positively NOT give her a purple cup when she clearly wants the pink one :).
Keep on going! Visit the amazing Stories-in-Seven contributor Jana O'Flaherty from Photography 2204 as she shares her story with you. While you're there, leave her some much deserved love in the comments.