Mom and Me

Strangers no more. Last night we attended the reception for photographer Justin Hackworth’s “30 Strangers” exhibit (which we wrote about here in our current issue of Utah Valley Magazine.) Back in April, he photographed mother/daughter combinations he’d never met — one every day — and then put together a black-and-white stunner displayed in BYU’s library this month. Hailey and I were lucky enough to be in front of his camera on April 11. But last night wasn’t about saying “cheese” — or eating cheese, for that matter. It was about relationships captured in a flash (but without a flash) and connections developed over a lifetime. The latter was presented in the form of five bloggers reading essays about motherhood. I listened with my arms around my two daughters and remembered why I love motherhood and why I should love it more. I snapped a self-portrait of our trio to remember the moment. One of the blog readers was Stephanie Nielson, who I haven’t seen since our January/February 2011 issue came out with her beautiful picture. She shared the written story of becoming reacquainted with her 2-year-old son after her plane crash. It was a tale she hadn’t shared during our interviews on her couch, but how could we ever share all of our anecdotes with one another? We continue to process and re-evaluate their meaning as the days march on and the lessons run deeper. For example, today I’m processing why I let Hailey and her older bro, Nathan, slide down the indoor banisters at the BYU library. Not a good motherhood moment. Maybe it will work itself into a dramatic reading at some point in the future. I’ll have to let my mind slide around on that for awhile.