May. For some it’s the promise that summer is just around the corner. Longer days and warmer evenings only intensify our anticipation. We put away our winter clothes and brought out our shorts, and the kids have based their summer diet largely upon their love affair with corn and watermelon. They’d eat corn for every meal if I let them, and we’ve already gone though three large melons since the begging of the month.

I celebrated my first Mother’s Day with both children in tow, Piper learned to ride her bike, Parker said “mama,” and we made quick trips to both Pittsburgh and D.C. With all the excitement surrounding the month, you’d think that I would’ve been happy. I had this date looming over my head, though. The date seemed to mark the end of a season of my life. The season was, what I believed to be, the epitome of my motherhood journey.

I had taken an entire year off from teaching to raise my babies and grow my business. I spent 24 hours a day with my kids for nearly all 365 days. We had breakfast together each morning, I tucked them in each night, and we experienced everything else that happened each day together. It was difficult for me to realize that those things we about to change drastically. On Parker’s birthday, May 29th, I returned to work. I was depressed about the fact that my last baby was one. I still am. I cried for days about how quickly this year has gone. I wanted, so badly, to go back to the day he was born and hold his little 8 lbs body again. I wanted to rub my cheek on his soft, newborn skin, and breathe him in.  But I couldn’t. Those days are long gone, and I am mourning the loss of them.

“Acknowledge that everything Parker is- down to his sweet smiles, giggles, and round little butt are because of God, you, Chad, piper, and a handful of people that love you. You have taken the gift given to you and shaped him. He’s everything he’s grown to be because of YOU. That’s amazing. One is a big deal. Tomorrow he is ONE. But the next day he’s not suddenly an adult. The day after ONE he’s still going to cry for you at night, he’s still going to scoot around on the floor, he’s still your PARKER. God has a way of easing these transitions. He’s growing- that’s a blessing in itself. Not everyone gets to see their babies grow.”

With all that being said, I am still excited for the summer we are about to experience together. I’m sure Parker will be walking soon, we’re about to experience our first trip to the beach with both kiddos, and I have my first gallery show coming up. I’m doing my best to see the bright side of things. My work has reflected that a bit. May brought vivid colors and photos in full sun.  They radiate joy, though I’m sure my mood did not. It’s a gift, though. God gave me the opportunity to look back on the month of May and see all the good when I was too busy mourning to see it in the moment.

I am so excited for this next chapter of my life. This is Artifact Motherhood; a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Please check out Gia Queiroz, the next artist in our blog circle, and continue through all the artists until you get back to me!