Writer's confession: As I begin, the photo pops up. I start to cry. Damn, this mother stuff.
As a mother of a girl, you always think your little spit-fire will be just beyond your fingertips. You'll always hear her Jeep barreling up the stone-graveled driveway. You'll be able to call her for an impromptu coffee and Starbucks, and she'll drop everything and be there in five minutes flat and order the most expensive thing on the menu. You'll be able to see her at the end of your workday, and you'll drop into each others arms. You'll split a gut laughing at her brothers, our laughter at the boy's expense. You'll hear she and her friends in the next room, plotting and planning, and you wish you could be in the middle of what they were cooking up.
Then, there's that moment in the airport when you realize this is it. I'm putting my little girl on a plane, and God, please let her come back soon.
It's been almost four years, and the touch in-between has only been one. I have learned many things during the interim. Some good, some not so good. And as always, a mother has a few things to say. And on your 31st birthday, here's lookin' at you kid . . .
1. Never lose your childlike innocence.
2. Remember your brothers back home and those epic gorilla squeezes.
3. The glass will always be half-full.
4. Teach Caitlin and Noah the importance of family, especially that quirky Southern-Italian family from America.
5. Be impromptu. Serendipitous. Great traits for little girls.
6. Every now and then, put yourself first. It makes the others happy in the end.
7. Leave the past there.
8. Take responsibility for everything in your life.
9. Grandma Hill would be tickled pink spoiling Caitlin and Noah. Kind of like bringing her leftovers home to Silas - never!
10. Pray. It solves everything.
happy Birthday my dear Mari.
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Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.