I wrote two letters to my older children when they became teenagers. You can find them here and here. Next week my baby girl turns eleven, and even though she is not a teenager yet, I do feel the need to write about her sooner, as she is changing faster than the boys ever did.
Dear Baby Girl,
When you were born eleven years ago, I was gifted my first real, digital camera so I could take pictures of you. It is fair to say that my photography skills have grown over the years along with you. My first photos were, just as all your firsts, unskillful and clumsy.
But we learned together: while I nursed you at 3am, I read the manual and Photography for Dummies on my phone. I took hundreds of photos of you sleeping, playing, eating… of which only, at first at least, two or three ended up being keepers. Just as easily as I joined other mommies in playdates and groups, I joined Flickr and started sharing my modest work, interacting with other photographers (many of whom, believe it or not, I am still friends with today) and always in awe of what they were shooting.
I practiced, practiced, and practiced and you grew, grew, and grew. I can say with confidence today that the journey has been a lot of work but worth every minute.
You are a self confident, independent, spunky friendly, brave girl with so much kindness in your heart. Your smile lights up your whole face and it warms my heart, everyone’s heart. You are imaginative and creative, you will accomplish anything that you put your mind to – unless you find a better thing before that! You are intuition and soul, you surprise everyone and you leave a mark.
As for my photography, I would like to think that it is similar to you. And like you, it is still growing and changing. There is still a lot left of our journey together and I am so happy I get to do it with you. Thank you for allowing me to photograph you and always posing for me so gracefully and patiently. My muse. My baby girl.