This Surprising and Beautiful Mom Realization Happened While Taking Prom Pictures

(Inside: Taking prom pictures of my son unleashed this beautiful realization that filled my heart all the way up and made me feel lucky…)

While taking prom pictures of my son, an amazing (and surprising) mom realization unfolded.

The experience was very different than capturing the toothless grin, first days of school, and closed-eyed birthday wishes.
Those latter moments are ones I love, but they come with a deep mom ache. A thousand tiny papercuts accumulated through the too-many reminders that our kids grow unsettlingly fast. So, I nestle the base of my camera in my hands and let the clicking ease my pain. Photos are therapy for me: I can tangibly see where the time went and that I didn’t miss out.

However, in snapping photos for prom, my feelings changed.

Throughout the whole occasion.
My lens froze the image of my son, tall and handsome, in his charcoal tux.
The white flowers weaved with silver-blue ribbons laying carefully in their box.
My son’s date with her ice blue full-length dress.
Silver high heels and sharp black formal shoes.

The couple’s arms around each other.

Standing on the bridge, ripples of blue underneath.
In front of the brilliant shades the trees and flowers boasted.
My son and his date belly laughing because I keep telling them to look at each other and it was dumb, and it was also just fun being told to turn this way, smile there, and be fancy and photographed.

And between the flashes, I realized something..

And between the flashes, I realized something…
The my-kid-is-one-step-closer-to-adulthood pain in my stomach, the mom ache, wasn’t there.
It was fun to see how grown-up they both looked.
How beautiful.
And breathtaking.
family at dinner table

I wished for them with every ounce of my heart to enjoy the evening. Let go of the high school stress and relish being young.

I felt so much pride and excitement for my son being in this stage of his life, 17 years old, so grown up.
Then, I saw a glimpse into the next chapter.
What it’s going to be like to be a mom of young-adult children.
Watching them doing their thing.
Cheering them on.
Collecting memories.

And enjoying seeing who they’re becoming.

I felt so much gratitude, joy, and hope.
Taking pictures of my son at prom brought out all the mom emotions.
Full force, waterfall-style.
But in the very best of ways.
prom pictures

You will love these reminders to stop, look around, and see how beautiful your ordinary is.

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Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?” 

You are raising tweens and teens and college-age kids – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

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prom pictures