If none of these photos existed as a record of what took place on this very day, each image would still be burned in my mind. I will never forget the warm breeze, the smell of the fresh water or the sweat dripping down my back on this hot, hot summer day. It was magic. It was an extremely moving moment in my life where I felt deeply connected and full of purpose as I saw myself in my own child looking right back at me. We have the same eyes, the same long fingers and toes, dark hair and hopeful personality. She is our child and we are so blessed. Genetics are pretty amazing, aren’t they?
Yes, I’m a mother, so you can’t blame me for gushing about my own child. But let me take a step back and share how this concept shoot came to be. It started with Mary. My husband is very close to his aunt as she had a very positive and caring influence on his life, even through his awkward high-school years. The summers he spent at her home have become a reservoir of comfort that he continues to draw from as he helps shape our family’s future and for that, I am thankful. Besides teaching my husband how to make goat’s milk and actually drink it, Mary also has a talent for sewing. Do you see where I’m going with this?
She’s also a great listener. She heard me when I said that I didn’t want to be predictable and decorate my daughter’s nursery in floor-to-ceiling pink or dress her in pink from head-to-toe. I think she also knows that I’m an old soul. Mary is truly great at picking up on how people are, not just what they like. So, you could only imagine my reaction during my baby shower when I opened a box from Mary, pulled apart the tissue and laid my eyes on the dress.
I was holding tiers of silk organza in a dark shade of gray, trimmed with black lace that had more style and personality than 1,000 pink tutus combined. Stunned, I pulled the dress closer to my eyes so I could study the intricate detail and love that touched each seam, each stitch. I started imagining the tedious hours that Mary spent to bring this heirloom to life and that is when I felt like I, too, was drawing from the reservoir that my husband knows so well; I was overcome with comfort and love.
When the day came that the dress fit my daughter just right, I took one look and knew that I wanted to let ourselves fall into a story book, just like Mary Poppins did. This concept, however, is more dramatic and fitting to this dress as the heirloom that it will be and to the spirit of the little girl wearing it.
This is for Mary.
My daughter is…Gone with the Wind.