{Photo-a-Day Project: A personal project that I undertake every January for an entire month taking one photo a day of my children. This is the 8th year of this project.}

      Kristen Cook Photo-a-Day January Project 2016 :: Day 31 // www.kristencook.com.au

      I meet lots of mothers every week.
      It’s one of many beautiful perks of my work.
      I often talk with them about how they feel about parenting, often for the first time.
      The answer is almost always the same.
      “I don’t know”, they say with doubt in their eyes.
      “I think it’s going ok? Everyone else seems to have it more together than I do”.
      And I nod.
      Because I understand.
      I understand because inside, I still have this underlying fear I’m not doing it right.
      I look at the two of you, and wonder what my next move is.
      And then I ask myself –
      Do you two know that I don’t know what I’m doing?
      Do you yet realise I’m just making it up along the way?
      At what point will you notice this?
      And will you then resent me for it?
      This parenting thing hard.
      Ridiculously hard.
      And just when you think you have a hang of it,
      You don’t.
      Not even close.
      And the truth is, I’m not sure anyone ever does.
      As a parent, you just have to put one foot in front of the other
      Each and every day
      Because it’s the only thing you know how to do
      And the only thing you’re certain of.
      There is no ‘right’.
      No instruction manual.
      No majestic path to enlightenment.
      Just steps.
      One foot and then the next.
      And on the hardest days, I forget.
      I watch other parents taking steps on that well worn path beside me.
      They look so confident.
      So enchanted with the process.
      Some even begin to run.
      Who are these people?
      The ones of myths and legends.
      Some days I watch their dust fly as they skip along their path,
      Longing to know what they know and how they run it with such ease.
      I walk.
      One foot and then the next.
      Then I feel someone grab my hand.
      And then the other.
      I look down and see these faces.
      Faces that I have looked at every day,
      Can map every feature with just my breath.
      My heart.
      Oh, my heart.
      Right here.
      There may be no right way to do this.
      But you are as close to right as I will get.
      Right here.
      And it’s then that I realise…
      Somehow along the way
      I began to run too.


      I hope I begin to run too, some day. I am inspired by your January project and would love to book in with you every year! Thank you for today’s session with my boy xx

      I look so look forward to your January project each year. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and journal.
      Becky Gawin, USA