“1, 2, 3, turn!” Our photographer says. His voice is gruff, his accent unidentifiable. But in this moment, he sounds almost childlike. He’s giddy; it’s contagious.
I turn slowly, my white dress sweeping around me. Fingertips to train, I raise my lashes.
Jason stands in the doorway, afternoon sun to his back. Cheeks raised, eyes lit. “I love you,” we mouth at the same time.
I’m convinced this is it. This is the most I can possibly love.
Carefully, I turn onto my side. The hospital bed is unforgiving, so is the maternity gown.
The blinds are lowered, the slats are angled. Together, they bring the sunset into the room. Reds and oranges slice through gray.
I reach for my glasses. “To the left,” Jason says quietly, thoughtfully. Clumsily, I find them, put them on, focus in.
He sits framed within that day’s warmth. His arms are full, my heart mirrors the feeling.
“Is he sleeping?” I ask.
He nods, brushes his lips across Brody’s forehead. Our third thread has arrived.
“Shh,” I hear behind our bedroom door. I peak at the clock, it flashes just past 8:am. He’s kept them away for as long as he can.
I pull myself up, prepare to maneuver my way from quiet alone to the loud together that come with being a family of five.
But when the door opens, it’s just him.
He gifts me yellow tulips and a latte with his hands and a “Happy Mother’s Day,” with his words. Then, he hands me my phone. “Check the videos,” he says before turning and leaving, closing the door behind him.
Wrapping my fingers around the latte and my gratefulness around the quiet, I do as I’m told. Clicking the photo button on my phone, I find videos clips of each one of our heartstrings wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day. I’m full.
The small moments are the fabric of our story. The late nights and rocked babies, the laced fingers and whispered chats, the meals cooked and the dishes washed.
And the big moments — wedding day, birth days, holidays – these are what thread us together.
We keep our stitches tight every chance we get, in every way we can think of, because holding on to I couldn’t possibly love you more is breath taking.
On Mother’s Day, he did this for me when he captured our children’s voices that lilt over, around, and through us. And this Father’s Day, I’m doing the same for him, by capturing their footsteps that walk and dance and thread between us.
How to make a photo gift
Homemade gifts make me swoon, and homemade photo gifts are the swooniest of them all.
For this photo gift, you’ll write a love note on your children’s feet, giggle with them when it tickles, photograph the message, frame it, and gift it.
Be creative with your messaging and how you use your family’s feet. You can put more than one letter on each foot or shorten words to make them fit. Some ideas include:
- 1 child, 2 feet: <3-U
- 2 children, 4 feet: W-e-<3-You
- 3 children, 6 feet: W-e-<3-Y-o-u
- 4 children, 8 feet: L-o-v-e-Y-o-u-!
- 5 children, 10 feet: <3-Y-o-u-S-o-M-u-c-h
Print, frame, swoon! This makes a wonderful Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, holiday, or I’m just thinking about you gift.