About nine years ago, when I was pregnant with M, my beside table was overflowing with parenting magazines. I had “Parents”, “Parenting”, “WonderTime” (awesome and so sad it’s no longer in publication), and everything in between. Of all of the articles that I read, there’s only one that I can readily put my hands on if I choose to. The title of the article escapes me, but the concept doesn’t. The author created a project to capture the growth of her daughter over the years. Every year, on or around her daughter’s birthday, she pulled out her bathing suit – a fetching orange, pink and white flowered maillot — and dressed her daughter in it. Once situated, the author snapped a photo and tucked the suit away for the next year. Along with the story, there were 16 photos, starting from when her daughter was a newborn through her 16th birthday when her mother’s maillot fit her like a glove.
I was amazed and inspired. I ripped the article out, stored it with my other important papers and gave my baby bump a pat, promising to create something similar for her. Fast forward through M’s birth, first few months, and well past her first birthday. We had relocated from Richmond to Norfolk, where the Hubs commuted to work, and I psyched myself up to forge new friendships in our new zip code. During one of M’s naps, I unearthed the aforementioned article from my piles of papers and did a mental head slap. A year plus had passed and I hadn’t made good on my promise. Rummaging through my dresser, I dug out my Lands End Bathing Suit and pulled M out of her clothes. It was October, a good while past her first birthday, but she still had the chubby baby look about her. I slid her into the suit, grabbed my Sony pocket camera and snapped a few photos. I have to admit, the quality on them was not the best. I had not yet discovered my passion for photography. At this point in time, it was more like a casual fling. Still, the image was captured and I vowed to be more on top of things for the following year.
This year, M will turn nine and that bathing suit will certainly ride a little higher on her long legs. C, who is going to be 7 at the end of the summer, wears a dress that I bought from a long ago trip to Greece. As for Miss V, I did something differently with her when she was a baby. I did a monthly capture of her growth. Every month, I snapped a picture of her with a sticker denoting her age decorating her chest. Because I was so dutiful in this endeavor, I didn’t really think about doing a yearly snap as well, until M & C called me out on it. So, I bestowed upon her that J.Crew sweater that I just could not make work into a suitable outfit. It’s well past her knees, loose in the neckline, and the sleeves cover her hands, but it’s already way more flattering on her.
They say the days drag and the years fly. Watching my girls literally grow into my clothes means I know this to be true.
Happy Birthday, V.
May 18th, 2012