Isabella turns 14 | Personal Post

Motherhood:  it’s a strange and wonderful thing.  You go from knowing a world only about you, to holding a life and being completely responsible for shaping it.  I can’t imagine a more important thing.

The first moment I saw her, that memory is burned deep in my brain, which often discards memories too carelessly.  But not that one.  No, I remember the Doctor gliding forward in slow motion toward me, with a tiny bundle topped in pink.  Extended hands placed this perfect human into my arms.  This tiny face searched mine.  Blue eyes as large as half dollars, or so it seemed, scanning.  Knowing.  Intentional.

This was not what I’d read about babies, all swollen and splotchy.  No, this human was perfect.  Flawless complexion.  Tiny features, except for those saucer eyes.  Those eyes seeking to know and be known.
Not much has changed in 14 years.  She came out a rich, deep soul, and has stayed true to form ever since.

She’s a beautiful mix of us both.  She has J’s memory and love of factual data.  She has my serious, contemplative, soul-searching nature.
She got her silliness from both of us.

But she’s unique and wonderful, carrying her own interests and discovering more daily.  It’s that season where every person begins to stretch, wonder and discover.
To observe is beautiful, beguiling… and brave.

Yes, brave.  Because this journey of parenting requires a great deal of bravery.
Each moment of releasing, grabbing hold of faith and trust, that what you’ve imparted will find root.
And… that when shoots of their own growth emerge, that you (I) will be brave enough to cultivate her growth – when it looks vastly different than mine.
Or what I’d envisioned for her.

Because love.  Love gives you wings.  And wind.  And affirming words… and tells you to fly.

These pictures were taken the night before her 14th birthday.  I held off on blogging them right away, because I couldn’t get past the lump in my throat.  Seeing her, this young woman becoming.  So lovely, so grown.  And my heart flooded with thousands of moments of growing… and ached at the fleeting moments.  Then celebrated them, all the same.

So celebrate, I do and share I must.
Isabella:  turned 14.

Here’s what I wrote on FB the night we photographed them.

“This evening, we walked into the woods, she and I.
We found the spot, where the sun glows red.
Hazy wood, flattered field, as golden rays
kissed winter grass.

She stood. I photographed. We celebrated beauty.
The sky.
The earth.
All good gifts, under heaven.

Sun dipped, we said adieu…
then softly whispered:
“Goodnight 13.”

Tomorrow, we’ll welcome another year.”

Happy Birthday, Isabella.  You are dearly loved.

With gratitude,


Dress:  Old Navy
Jean Jacket:  Old Navy
Booties:  Target