Tag: Children

Freedom to Be

Freedom to Be

Last night I met a six year old boy who created a camera out of driftwood. He instructed me to push a button on it and anything I photographed would come to life. It took him only a few moments to invent this magical tool.

I was photographing him and his parents at the beach. The hour-and-a-half we spent together was fun and enjoyable but the true gift was much more than this.

So many times society takes creative souls through a deadening process. Trying to keep someone in a small realm of acceptable norms kills the creative spirit within us….and makes us think we are not okay because we are different. And let’s face it, we’re all unique and ‘different’ at our core.

I’m sure many who read this understand what it’s like to think differently or express yourself differently. I have met a great number of people who have lived their entire lives in emotional pain because they are ‘different.’ Their creative genius can be lost…and that’s a loss for all of us.

This youngster was such a light and could imagine inventing something from anything. I ‘saw’ him as a young adult creating solutions to problems on our planet or inventing brilliant new things never before conceptualized…so powerful was his ability to invent. Major credit goes to his parents who champion him and his amazing inventive skills.

He inspired me to give myself permission to create with wild abandon and imagine my life in ways I’ve dared not even dream. I’ve spent today reflecting on freedom and wholeness and self-permission.

It was ‘just’ a photo shoot that almost didn’t happen…but what a loss it would have been to miss meeting these beautiful souls. How grateful I feel for this old soul in a young boy’s body reminding me to gift myself with the freedom to be.

I felt inspired to make a logo for the new magical camera…to maybe inspire him to keep creating.

(A special thank you to this wonderful family for giving me permission to share their images).

A Precious Gift

A Precious Gift

1985....Emily loved the water from the beginning. Wonder why....ha!
1985….Emily loved the water from the beginning. Wonder why….ha!

In less than a week now my daughter will be married.

I have to give that sentence room to breathe. She and Kevin have been together for years but very soon we will be coming together to celebrate their lives and their decision to create a life together. I couldn’t be happier that Kevin is her chosen life partner.

simonelipscombEmily was born at noon on a Monday after twelve hours of labor. As I held her, moments after she was born, I recognized the strong feeling of love that poured through me. Life that had grown within my body was now present and about to be disconnected when the cord that joined us was severed.

But is a mother ever really separated from her child?

When I was pregnant I played piano to Emily and she would kick. I continued the practice after she arrived....
When I was pregnant I played piano to Emily and she would kick. I continued the practice after she arrived….

Whispers of each other’s heartbeat reverberates through the soul as mother and child journey through life. Sometimes apart physically, yet forever joined by blood….and something more. I remember hearing Billy Ocean’s song, Suddenly, while I was in the hospital. “This love is everlastingLife has new meaning to me, there is beauty up above and things we never take notice of. You wake up and suddenly you’re in love.” Holding her in my arms for the first time I knew that I had never really felt love before meeting her.

Emily meeting my Appaloosa pal, Tommy.
Emily meeting my Appaloosa pal, Tommy.

The birth of my daughter catapulted me onto a path of growth. It wasn’t pretty–this clawing and sweating journey to wholeness. No. Not pretty at all. I screwed up as a mother, as a wife and made more mistakes than I ever want to admit to myself, much less publicly confess to, yet my love for Emily never wavered. I credit my precious baby girl as being the catalyst that directed me to my spiritual path.

simonelipscomb (7)Never the smothering mother type, I was able to give my daughter space in which to grow into her potential without undue, un-requested influence from me. I laughingly say I studied counseling in graduate school so I could help her grow up without squashing her spirit.

simonelipscomb (3)She was a strong-willed, precocious kid but in a most charming way. Adventuresome, self-disciplined, driven to do whatever it took to achieve her goals from two to twenty-eight….this is my daughter. Not once did I have to nag her about her school work. The kindergarten teacher’s only complaint was that Emily completed her work too quickly. And maybe that she talked too much. Boredom was her biggest challenge. (Note to Kevin…boredom was her biggest challenge).

Graduation from Auburn University
Graduation from Auburn University

When we went wedding dress shopping in November with Kevin’s mom, my mom, and my niece (her maid of honor) I was totally shocked that I started crying when we walked into the bridal shop. Me? Cry about Emily getting married? I excused myself to the restroom and gathered my emotions into a tidy basket of surprise and the rest of the day went wonderfully. So even though she has been on her own for several years and she and Kevin have already established a loving home together, there is still something about the celebration with 130 of their closest relatives and friends that makes this a big deal…besides the crowd of well-wishers.

simonelipscomb (19)In a couple days I fly to their home to help in the last minute preparations. I have the dress and high-heels, my camera and yes, I purchased waterproof mascara.

simonelipscomb (9)A child is a most precious gift. Thank you Emily for being my daughter. You taught me how to love.

Kevin and Emily
Kevin and Emily