There are a few moments in life that define you. I can clearly remember each one of those moments in my life, but the one most vivid and treasured is the day my children were born.
Never could I have imagined what it would feel like to hold my daughter for the first time. The first thing I noticed when I held her was her eyes – the shape, the depth, the life it held. She was a perfect fit, my perfect baby.
There really is something special about a first born, isn’t there? It is not that you love your other children less or differently, it is just that this one, the first one, is the one who truly taught you the miracle of carrying life. The meaning of unconditional love and what it means to put another life absolutely and completely above your own. What it means to hold new life in your arms and what it means to watch a person grow.
Your first born goes with you through all the trial and errors. With them you experience all the firsts for the first time, make all the mistakes and probably spend the most time on google. You see the first smile for the first time, the first tooth and laughter. You learn the meaning of sleep deprivation. You experience a worry beyond anything you could ever have ever imagined. They teach you to not take anything for granted but to push the boundaries, to keep on trying until you mastered a skill. You observe, you sacrifice, you gain, share and learn until you become this new person. Through them you learn the meaning of motherhood.
It feels like I have barely blinked my eyes and the time is gone. It is two years later and in my mind she is still this little baby. Then I look at her and I see a tiny human with a will of her own, attitude in abundance, spirited, caring, strong, beautiful. I still feel surprised when I see her all grown up, talking, counting, helping around the house, arguing back. I look at her and I think – when did this happen?! When did you become so big and where did my baby go?
Lila, you taught me what it means to live in a beautiful mess of discovery and adventures but above all you taught me the meaning of true love. For that I will be forever grateful.
In the spirit of time, change and never-ending transformation we do a photo shoot of our kids each year on their birthdays. Perhaps this will help us lock away a bit of time, capture moments already gone, phases already mastered. Whatever these photos might come to mean to us one day I know it is something we will always treasure.
This year Lila’s photo shoot was done by the amazing Lizelle Krige