a boy in bed blocks his face from the plushie cat flying towards it

Hey, its a new blog!

Sort of. I've been photographing and writing for years but there's something cleansing about a new format and a new perspective. If you've been with me awhile, you've seen this post before. If you're just finding me, it helps describe and reframe what photography does for me as a mom and what I believe it can do for you too.

I want to tell you a story about my second favorite photograph I have ever taken of my son.

M has a stuffed cat named Fudgy. The cat's full name is actually "Fudgy the Lice Cat" since he joined our family during a most unfortunate episode. All of M's stuffed friends had been banished to trash bag quarantine earlier in the afternoon, leaving a no-longer-itchy kindergartner facing bed time very sad while sending a tired, grossed-out mom to the nearest open toy store with very slim pickings.

Fudgy has been the most loved stuffy ever since, the closest of them all to Velveteen status, the one that will ride his love into the afterlife. And every night at bed time we have a routine. My husband says what his parents said to him before bed - "sweet beans" - an adaption of toddler Sam's mispronunciation of "sweet dreams." Then I say "dream of angels", which my Catholic-raised parents would say to me.

In return M says, every night to this very tween-hood day of my writing, "Sweet beans, good night, and all those other things we say at night!!!" There's a sing-song lilt to his voice and the words nicely cover the gamut of angels, sleeping tight and bugs that don't bite.

Then my husband throws the stuffed cat at his face. Not always gently.

I can't explain why Sam does this, or why Sam does many things, I just know that random-acts-of-Sam are among the many things I fell in love with 20+ years ago. And the boy loves it too. He won't easily fall asleep without someone throwing Fudgy at his face.

No other parent in the world will have this particular portrait. I've never posted it to Facebook, it's ours, it's his, and I am so glad I thought to take it one night. I would like to believe that, someday in our absence, he will ask a college roommate or domestic partner to throw Fudgy at his face before he falls asleep. But the more likely scenario is that one night, any given night from now, he will say

"Stop, that's not funny anymore."

Just like he stopped fitting into the stroller. Just like he stopped wearing super hero costumes. Just like he stopped wanting me to walk him to school.

I use photos to hold the things I know I can't stop. He is my baby, my only and he must grow up. Photos like this make it just a little easier for me to let him.