I’ll be honest, my heart wasn’t into creating a self-portrait for the month of August. And I think that’s because, well, really, my heart just … wasn’t into August. It was a hard month (but to clarify, like, first-world-problems hard….I mean, God, this was a month that on a grand level brought with it the Ferguson debacle, the James Foley-ISIS tragedy and Robin Williams’ death—it was like, everywhere we collectively turned there wasn’t a hole big enough we could hide in to shield us from so much craptacular news).
For me, it was a sucker punch that involved throwing out my back for the first time. For some reason, I took this to as my Great Sign I’m getting old. (Or maybe it was the conversation I had with a coworker: “How’d you throw it out?” “That’s the thing, I don’t even know…I just, like, sat up?” “Ohhh man…you’re getting old.” But feeling miserable physically this month reminded me SO much of how challenging it is to be your best self (mentally, spiritually, creatively) when, physically, you feel like one big hot mess.
The bright spot to this otherwise blah month was a late August visit from one of my photo besties, Tina. It’s entirely to her credit she’s kept up our pact of seeing one another at least every two years (since having a kiddo on this end has thrown a mega wrench into this mama’s traveling agenda). But we’ve made the time for each other in 2012, 2010, and 2009 (the year we met at Melissa Jill’s photo workshop in Arizona), so it just feels so good to have this constant friendship of a fellow creative in my life, one with whom I know when you DO get together, we can pick right back up where we left things last at the airport.
This time was especially meaningful as Tina finally got to meet my boy! She doted on Dean and we made a trip to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum with her as guest. I was grateful at her suggestion I bring along my professional camera so she could take a few snaps of us as a family. Admittedly, I teared up going through these files. It’s not every day you have a professional photographer tag along on a family playdate (one more reason I’m so so grateful to her paying us a visit).
Then there is this: I see pictures of my son and I together so seldomly that, when I do, it’s an emotional punch to the gut. Knowing you’re a mom and SEEING it? It reenforces this whole impossible-to-wrap-my-head-around mind bender that is the fact WHOA, I HAVE A KID. Of course, I wouldn’t trade Dean for the world, but sometimes I think every parent on the inside still has moments where they think, “How did I get here? I mean, seriously, wasn’t I JUST in high school? college? a newlywed?”
Be the gift of today is the present it is. And speaking of presents, as if Tina wasn’t already A+ material in the best friend department, I came home yesterday (after a long day at work) to a thank you package from this woman! Inside, wrapped in a perfect bow, was a fresh journal to start pouring out my thoughts and plans for my next book and a Cars’ Mater book that already Dean has had us read to him a dozen times.
Tina, if I haven’t said it enough already, let me say it again (and more publicly this time): I love you to the moon and back, with that little spot on the map of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as a pit stop inbetween.