What about mom?

Guest blog by Lora Rhodes, mom to Lincoln – Class of 2020

Man, how did my firstborn all of a sudden go from playing legos and having nerf gun wars to picking colleges to visit and taking his senior pictures?  I mean – go ahead and rip my heart right out of my chest, why don’t ya?  

Preparing for the senior year of high school is jam packed full of things for seniors to do.  SO. MANY. THINGS to check off of the list! ACT test. College Visits. Senior Pictures. College Applications. Scholarship Applications.  The list goes on and on. 

But what about mom?  How does she deal with the realization that her child is now exerting his independence and preparing to move on to the next state of his life?  Do we just mask the emotions of the year with business and celebrations only to crash in tears after they leave? I’m sure that there will be some of that, but I want more.  I want to feel all of it. I want to take every moment in. I want to remember it all.  

So…. Step one – Senior pictures.  I knew they have been coming for years and we have had brief discussions on them here and there, but now it is a reality. And, I’m ready. I want to remember everything about my son at this stage. It’s time to schedule the session, pick out locations, pick clothes and talk about what we want out of the experience.  

As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I got the glammed up, studio portraits.  You know, the ones where the lighting shone through the mini-blinds in the background, or where my musical instrument was perfectly posed to accent my massively big hairdo.  Yeah – those. 🙂

I am so very thankful that the trend has moved to lifestyle photos.  Those are the ones where you see your child in their environment – in those everyday places and environments that you would find them most days.  Like in their bedroom, or hanging with their friends or “special” friends on a weekend or where they like to study or spend their spare time. Those places that you associate your child with.  

My friend Emily with Emily Hardy Photography does a great job with lifestyle senior photos!  There are so many reasons that we are choosing lifestyle photos for our senior pictures, but the one that hits the top of the list for me is mannerisms.  

Let me explain. 

My son has the greatest hair.  It is super thick with the slightest wave.  In a way, it has kind of been his thing as he grew through the years.  For much of his elementary years he wore it long, like down to his shoulders long, when none of the other kid were doing it.  He got called a girl all the time ( I mean – of course he did! His hair was gorgeous!) And even had family members asking him to cut it, but he didn’t care.  He wore it confidently and without hesitation.  

When he got to his late middle school years, it started to get shorter until he found his look for high school with a much shorter do.  Now that he has found his stride in high school, you will see him running his fingers through his hair to get it to lay just right.

As my boy has now turned into a young man, I want to remember those mannerisms. The way his fingers run through his hair. The way his eyes sparkle when he is excited to talk to me about something new. The way his lips curl up in the corners when he shows his sheepish smile. The way you can almost look into his soul through his blue eyes.  

Those are the things I want to remember.  I don’t care what he wears in the pictures – I just want to capture those things that were there when he was a baby in my arms, when he was in the awnry toddler years, when he struggled through the awkward middle school years and are still there now that he is entering adulthood.  

I want to always see my boy.  The real version of him. The one that is preparing to leave but still gives hugs to him mom freely and without hesitation.  The one that takes a bit of my heart with him every time he walks out the door.  

I want to remember all of it. As a mom of a senior, these photos are my gift. My little piece of his senior year that I will enjoy for a lifetime.

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