I often have a hard time writing little blurbs about my session because I fear I would say the same things; “I love this mama” “this session was the best” “how cute are the kiddos” “can we go back”? And I might say all those words but after documenting over a dozen Motherhood Session in the past few months each one leaves it’s own special mark on me. The mark Jesse’s session left on me is; warmth. Everything about her session makes me feel warm. From the moment she was giving me parking instructions in the city of Boston, to the moment her husband said hello to me in the lobby, to the hug I received from her when she opened the door and when her sweet Ione June would reach for my hand throughout the day. I immediately felt comfortable in their home and I believe you can feel the comfort within these photos. We joked, we played, we bonded. It was, what you call, a dream session. Jesse, thank you for being the women and Mother that you are. It was such an honor documenting your Motherhood Story, insert the biggest bear hug, here.
Enjoy Jesse’s Motherhood Story below, get cozy because it’s a long one!
How did you meet the father of your children?: We met at a dive bar in Boston called the Good Life. We were both there to see a band play in the basement, but ended up missing the show. We just talked, and joked all night. I was fresh out of a very long relationship, and reeling from the death of my grandfather. Jason had declared to his friend, on the way to the show, that he resigned himself to the life of an eternal bachelor. We took the “love happens when you least expect it” cliche to another level. Jase said he knew that night we would get married.
How has life changed for you since becoming a mother?: Life has changed in every way imaginable. My whole word revolves around these two little beings we brought into this world. Being a mother is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had, both physically and emotionally. It is also the most rewarding. My highs are higher than they have ever been. My heart is bursting with love, both for my girls and for Jason. I fell so much harder for him after we had our babies. He was amazing during both my incredibly long and challenging deliveries, and is such a loving, supportive, silly dada. Watching my babies faces light up when he walks through the door every night brings me immeasurable joy.
What has been the biggest change for you after becoming a mother (both good and bad)?: I have never really believed in a traditional interpretation of god, yet I always felt like there was something out there. I longed for something bigger than myself. Once I became a mother, I found that something. My children, my family, what Jase and I have created, that is god to me, and I find so much happiness and comfort in it.
What was the biggest surprise to you about having a child?: Before I had Ione, I imagined meeting and loving my child would be like falling in love with my husband; full of giddy, effervescent, butterfly in your stomach energy. It was so different. The love I have for my children is deeper, more intense, and more all encompassing than any emotion I have ever felt, and with it comes a certain weight. It is serious. You are caring for and shaping human beings. It is no small feat. This charge, this responsibility constantly calls on me to be my highest self. I am amazed at how my children raise me as well, every day. I am so thankful for the ways in which they have caused me to grow.
What is it about your child that you want to remember at this very moment?: For Ione I want to remember the adorable words she makes up, like “wibbly”, a combo of wiggly and wobbly. I want to remember her amazing little raspy voice and Spanish accent. I want to remember her innate sense of nurturing, how she takes care of an army of dolls and stuffed animals with ease and love. I want to remember her feisty spirit, which right now makes parenting her a challenge, but will serve her so well as an adult.
For Biba, I want to remember how she smiles with every inch of her face. I want to remember that even though she has yet to sleep through the night and that is tough, every time she wakes up I can’t wait to feel her rest her little head on my shoulder as we walk back to bed for lechecita. I want to remember what it feels like to nurse her, to sustain her growing body and brain with the milk my amazing body creates. I want to remember her tenacity and curiosity. She is so close to being up and off running, I want to savor every snuggle I get.
What is the best / most useful advice you have received about being a mother?: To trust your instincts. There are so many how to books and guides, and so many rules and ideas about what a mother is supposed to or not supposed to do these days, it’s easy to get caught in a fear shame spiral of thinking you are not doing the right thing. I always think of that line from a Walt Whitman poem “re-examine all you have been told at school at church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul” and try to apply that to my parenting as much as possible.