Photographer catches that moment you realize it’s not just the two of you anymore (or the three of you… or the four of you…)
There is a photo circulating wildly around the internet that’s causing moms everywhere to burst into tears. If you have more than one child, chances are you distinctly remember the moment you looked at your first born and thought, “next time I see you, it won’t just be the two of us anymore.” Or the three of us, or whatever that number is — bringing a new child into the family is such a moving time.
I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING.
Portland-based birth photographer Laura Paulescu snapped a photo of this mom, giving her daughter a hug before she goes off to deliver her third child. Paulescu shared the photo on her Facebook page.
“Pure sweetness,” Paulescu wrote. “Last hugs before saying goodbye to momma & the last time she would sit on that big round belly with her sister still inside.” This is the mark of a talented photographer: one who catches a moment, a feeling — not just an image.
“As a mother of two myself, I actually think you understand even more so how quickly life changes with that ‘baby’ when you bring another into your family, after you have two,” Paulescu told Scary Mommy. “So this momma knew even deeper in her heart how much things would be changing and how much she wanted to hold onto that moment just a little longer, because she had experienced this once before. Holding your ‘little’ one so close one last time, before they aren’t the little one anymore.”
“The moment of that last hug goodbye was just so special, and I’m so honored to have frozen that moment in time for them to treasure forever,” she said.
I remember saying goodbye to my then two-year-old son before we left for the hospital to deliver my daughter. It’s a moment that will always be frozen in time for me. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to it: there was a part of me that just didn’t believe I could ever love another being as much as I loved him. And there was a small part of me that felt like I was betraying him by bringing another person into our lives.
It had been two years, we were a team. There was a huge chunk of the day – every day – that we had been spending alone together. It hurt my heart a little that the dynamic was about to change, even though I was excited to meet my new child.
Having kids is a constant reminder of how fleeting every stage of your life is. When that stage of being a mother to only one child comes to an end, that last hug signifies so much: you are saying goodbye to a time in your life that you will never have again — the time that you and your first child had alone together.
It’s a feeling your second or third or fourth child won’t know, and a feeling your first may not even remember if they were young enough when the second came along. But you’ll always remember that moment in time when your first made you a mother — and all the feelings that came along with new motherhood. And that moment when your second made you a mother of two, etc.
This picture is a “goodbye” to each of those family dynamics. And it’s as lovely as it is heart-wrenching.