My Ordinary, Uneventful and Beautiful Life | Documentary Session With Brittany Sarah Photography
I was sorting through emails while one son napped and the other watched TV. To my right was my lunch, cold and untouched, as I had made it over an hour ago without the chance to take a bite. To my left was a mountain of laundry, so big it almost felt as though it was mocking me. I ignored both and clicked open an email from a woman named Brittany.
Brittany was asking if I wanted to participate in a documentary style photography session. It all seemed normal until I got to the sentence that stated this session would last 6 hours. SIX HOURS. I laughed out loud, contemplated how insane that sounded, and then sent off a reply saying, sure, I'd love to have you come document our lives for 6 hours.
And then, the voices set in. They always start quiet, those sneaky little voices.
"You'll need to finishing hanging your gallery wall before she comes over." They said.
"You'll have to do a deep clean this week, you haven't mopped your floors in a month." They said.
"You should probably order the kids some new clothes, so they look hip and cute." They said.
Then the voices get louder. Those asshole obnoxious voices.
"Why in God's name are you letting someone come to your house for 6 hours to document what a scam you are? No one wants to see your boring life. You rent a house that is half decorated. Your bangs haven't fully grown out yet and they look ridiculous, like tiny horns hanging off the side of your head. You still swear around your kids sometimes, what is the Brittany going to think of you? You'll probably have acne that day and you won't even know how to cover it up because when it comes to make-up, you've got the skills of a 8 year old boy."
The day before our session, after a mild panic attack, I realized that if I wanted to like these photographs, if I truly wanted to relate to them - I couldn't change a thing. I put down the hammer and stopped yelling at my husband to help me finish hanging pictures on the wall. I stopped worrying about what we would wear, what we would do. I went to bed with absolutely no plan on how we would spend 6 hours with a photographer in our house.
Brittany arrived bright and early at 7:30am. I answered the door in one of my favourite t-shirts and typical yoga pants, a natural face and unwashed hair. I let my boys be themselves. We did what we normally do; walked to the park, did some chores, baked some cookies, chilled out on the couch. It was seemingly uneventful and perfectly my life. It was authentic, real and I didn't change a thing. I'm so glad I didn't. The images below are worth their weight in gold because they are a true snippet of my life. When I am a silver-haired woman with grown children, I will cherish these images; I will pass them onto my grandchildren (please Lord, let there be grandchildren) and we will all sit around, smiles on our faces and warmth in our hearts as we exclaim "remember then?"
In sharing these with you, I want you to pause and think about how beautiful your own ordinary life is. This Mothering thing we do, it's all consuming. It makes our days blend into one giant mess of cooking, changing diapers, kissing the hurt, wiping tears, taking naps, laughing loudly, planning ahead, going with the flow, driving there, pausing here, sweeping up the mess and then choosing to wake up and do it all over again. I wouldn't change a thing.
*Note: These are not even ALL the images! Brittany Sarah Photography did an extraordinary job. I'm forever grateful.