To hold both the elation of watching him grow and the devastation of knowing I cannot reverse it, simultaneously in my heart, is a difficult task. I love being a mother, and it brings me more joy than anything I have ever done. That doesn’t mean it always brings me happiness — that is something I have to create for myself — but it does bring me immeasurable joy, and my heart swells with gratitude when I think of how blessed I am to be able to share so many precious moments of my life with my children. I wish I could keep them small and close to me indefinitely, but that would deprive them of their own journey. Instead, I must helplessly, but with pride, watch them crawl, toddle, and then run, into the future, toward the next signpost.
This is a collection of images from the last month before Zane turns one. Although most childhood development experts consider a person an “infant” until they are 18 months old, there is something about that stark, vertical line — 1 — that is so symbolic and undeniable. It is the signpost that marks the turn away from babyhood toward the next phase of life. Of course, he’s still a baby to me, but he is now a toddling, babbling, tantrum-throwing, solid food-eating, nighttime-sleeping type of baby. In other words, he’s becoming a person.
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Kelli lives in rural New Hampshire with her husband Damian and their two children. She works as a writer, and in her free time enjoys reading, gardening, taking pictures, walking in the woods, and celebrating the seasons of nature and the feasts, festivals, and holy days of the Christian year.