Over the course of last evening and today, I have managed to book the photographer for the boys for next week. We were originally going to do this for the whole family, but I know I am going to be crying, so I don't want to be in pictures that are supposed to be happy.
Zachary's birthday photos.
I cannot believe it is just right around the corner. In 2 weeks, we are making the trip to John's mom's to celebrate with them, and I need the proofs of the photos for them to select the ones they want. I'm a little nervous because I did this completely differently than I normally do. Instead of taking them to a cheesy portrait studio, I booked a private photographer to meet us on location at a local park to capture what it is that I want to have for years to come. And I am thinking of the expense. I remember when Evan was a baby, and he was so photogenic. We lived in a small town, and the only place to get photos done was Wal-Mart. Home of the $5 Portrait Package. Even then, I managed to spend $600, and John was aghast that I could do that at such a cheap place. So you can imagine how a professional, private photography session could spin us into the spiral of bankruptcy. Whatever, I don't care. I need this.
Of course the photographer is going to think I'm crazy and weird and anything else you can think of, but I want her to know. I want her to understand when I cry. To know that this baby is a true miracle. That for someone who never should have made it into the world, he has brought so much joy to all he has touched. That watching him grow has been the most amazing journey this past year. Is a photograph truly worth a thousand words? And if so, will these be the words spoken? When she snaps photos of Zach and Evan together, will she get it? Will Evan's resilience he has shown as he has adapted from being an only-child to being a big brother after 9 years show through the photos? Can she capture that, frozen in time, for me to hold onto as the years pass in a blur of firsts: first days of school, first dates, first cars...?Because as the years pass, I will still be clutching these photos to my chest, remembering. The contractions, the baby giggles. Evan's innocence and his adoration for his baby brother. This. I will always remember this.
Of course I have some fun ideas up my sleeve. As in the Great First Birthday Cake Smash. I had this idea for a while now, and did some online searching to find out I am not as original as I thought and this is appparently all the rage in children's photography. Just a happy, chubby, diapered baby and a brightly-colored birthday cake. With a single candle. The first of many, yet so very precious. Because we experienced parents know how quickly those candles multiply. Just like parenthood, this is sure to be messy, unscripted, and completely joyous.
And so now I have done it: I have made myself cry in anticipation of roughly one month from now, when Zach's first year will be over. When Evan will enjoy the last summer of his first decade of life. It is like we are standing on a cliff, with all we have survived behind us. The joys, the struggles, the celebrations, the milestones. The experiences.
And we are just about to leap into the unknown.
I hope she can capture this time before we do.