i've been fixed on this photograph of my niece shayla and myself. it was set-up on a 10 second self-timer. with a click of the shutter the countdown commenced and we ran in front of the camera and fell into the grass, smooshing our faces together for a goofy shot. i love self-timer shots and even more so, goofy ones. this particular photograph is now one of my most beloved images to reflect on.
for whatever reason i was engrossed in the photograph and i decided that the picture colors a portrait to the type of mother i hope to be. shayla is amazing and unique. she calls for (without words) focused consideration from adults and yearns for someone to recognize her (and very truly we all do); to ask her questions about her school, art, books and her friends. i love to give such undivided attention to my girl.
i adore the way that shayla entertained my wild idea to do an eskimo kiss for the shot. her face is lifted towards mine all squished and eyes wide shut. her smile is perked and tight with delight. my face is relaxed and my lips are barely curved. i am staring straight into this darling girl's face - giving to her every part of attention, whether she takes it or not, it is hers. i like to observe people and act on the internal empathy gage so that those around me are loved in the ways that they need. this photograph is sweet, and maybe only to me, but i pray that i can carry this intentionality further into life as a spiritual director, sister, and daughter; friend, mentor, future wife and mommy.