Photo-a-Day 2014: Day 1

This is a personal project I commence in January where I take a photograph of my children each day.  This exercise stretches me as a photographer, as a mother, and as a journalist.  This is my 3rd year on this project and I hope to continue it as the years pass.

My kids have changed me.  I am better because of them, though I often feel they bring out my worst.  It's an enigma I question God about many times daily, but I understand my weakness increases my need for His strength, therefore I am a believer in God's way of doing things even though I don't understand it.  But because of God's way, I am stronger as each year of motherhood passes.

As I closed out 2013, I was actually dreading December 31st because I promised the kids they could stay up to ring in the new year, which meant 4 more hours with them after a long day of Christmas detoxification.  I was tired and spent and the evening stretched out before me like the last kilometer of a 5K.  Patrick worked a long day, 8am-8pm, and he came home tired and grumpy.  I was tired and grumpy. The kids were excited about staying up late.  The combination of grumpy adults and over-stimulated children is not necessarily the best mix for happy memories.  I wanted nothing more than to send them to bed and have peace and quite.

Patrick and I decided to garner some self-control, though.  We turned on the TV and let the kids soak up the excitement of the evening.  I popped some popcorn, we played games, watched videos, and finally tuned into the Late Night commentary of the New York ball drop, though the kids could never quite understand why we kept flipping the channels, trying to monitor what they saw and heard.

When 11:59 rolled around, I started my interval timer on my camera, which was set up right in front of the TV.  The camera fired every 3 seconds so that I could capture the faces of our kids as the ball dropped on Times Square and 2014 made its entry.  "Happy New Year!"

The evening ended up being quite delightful, except when our neighbors started shooting fireworks about 12:30 and the kids ended up piled up in our bed, pushing bedtime back til after 1am.  As I finally kissed Ethan goodnight, he said to me "Mom, you just gave me my first kiss of 2014.  Thank you so much!  You are the best and I love you."  I choked up a bit and my mind reeled forward to the many other New Years he would experience and the other girls that may one day give him his first kiss, at a time when dear ol' mom's kisses will no longer be as magical.  This brief comment from the heart of my son made me realize moments like these cannot dreaded or wished away.  If I never let them stay up to ring in the New Year and just sent them to bed while I wallowed in tired selfishness, I would never have had those words engraved in my memory.

Thank you, Lord, for using my children to make me stronger.  Your way is so much better than mine.

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