Monday, May 18, 2015

A Mother's Advice

One of the greatest joys of my life is being a mother to my two sons. They are 10 years apart in age, 28 and 18.  This week I am packing the last of school lunches, saying goodbye to school routines and schedules, and preparing for my youngest son’s graduation from high school.  

And, I am looking forward to the next chapter in both of our lives. 

Jacob, the rest of this post is for you. Just a little advice from Mom.

You’ve worked so hard, and we are proud that you are valedictorian of your class and headed off to the College of William & Mary this fall.

 

But please don’t let your success weigh you down. You are enough as is. Aside from your contributions and usefulness, you have worth. You never have to earn our love or respect. Those are a given.


You are entering the stage of life where people will invariably ask you, “What’s your major?” Don’t worry if you don’t have the answer. Focus your attention on becoming the right person rather than finding the right major.
   
Don’t be afraid to fall apart a little from time to time. When it happens, the situation will open an opportunity for you to grow and rebuild yourself into the brilliant person you are meant to be.


Trust your own instincts. When your intuition begs you to listen, listen. Don’t substitute someone else’s judgement for your own. You know what’s right for you. 
 
Work hard, but don’t forget to play. Appreciate your blessings. Be kind. Use your voice to support the truth. 



Embrace the journey.We love you with all our hearts. Thanks for letting me take a few portraits of you.

28 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post for Jacob! And such sage advice, hard won, I'm sure. Congratulation to all of you and keep us posted when your baby goes off to college.

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    1. Dotti, Reading your latest post, I see that we both are aware of time flying by - children and grandchildren growing up so fast. Thank goodness their main requirement is love, and more love - and we have plenty of that to give! Your granddaughter, Campbell, is so beautiful - with a smile that lights up her face. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Such a heart-warming post for Jacob! :)
    He looks so much like you, Donna.

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    1. Kia, When I was editing these pictures, I kept seeing pieces of my family - a little of my father, a little of his big brother, a little of me, too. Nothing like the camera to help me really see - and appreciate the the unique beauty of the people I love.

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  3. I can't believe Jake is about to graduate and go off to W&M, We are so happy and proud of all he's accomplished!! ❤️

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    1. Always a treat to hear from you, Sis! So much of Jacob's success lies in the foundation of love and support from family - thank you for being a loving Aunt!

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  4. Wow! First of all, such wisdom here; I wish someone had given me that advice. Bravo, Mom! Beautiful portraits!

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    1. Melinda, I always admire your blog photo - holding the little one - your grandchild I'm guessing. I love how photographs bring us together and show connections. Even though I was the person behind the camera in these photos, we laughed and goofed off, making the picture-taking a nice side benefit of our time together (rather than a me dragging him out of the house and forcing him to "get your picture taken.")

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  5. you should be so proud. so handsome and smart! congratulations to jacob!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy! I know the next few months will be bittersweet for you as you wind down your time overseas. We'll meet in the fall and help each other through these times of transition.

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  6. First, bravo to your son Donna, you can be proud of Jacob's success... he's a very handsome young boy, even looking younger than he is and I bet that he will accomplish brilliant studies in the college he has chosen.
    And bravo to you Donna, very wise and loving mother... such confidence between you and your son... thoughtful words of wisdom and encouragement for your baby who will soon leave the nest...

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting, Odile. Hearing from you always lifts my spirits. I've been studying your recent photos and the colorful radishes are an all-time favorite! Such a simple and elegant photo. It was a challenge for me to take these photos of my son - I'm so partial to still life and nature. I had a little difficulty making sure my focus was sharp, but I tried to keep my attention on enjoying the experience. And now, I can't wait to try some radish photos next - inspiration from you!

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  7. wise words to a young man ready to set off into the world...I think you have prepared him well!

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    1. You've often shared wise words with me - and encouraged me in so many ways, Amy. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  8. Donna this is truly heart warming. Such a fine young man to be proud of and wonderful words of wisdom from you to your son. I agree with Melinda that I would loved having someone tell me these things. You could publish a "little book of wisdoms". Congratulations to you, and Jacob. I'm sure we'll be hearing his name in a few years.

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    1. Beverly, Thank you for visiting. I so enjoyed the video conversation between you and Kim over in The Studio. It is such pleasure to "meet" you - and now feel as though we share a lovely and heartfelt connection. Your recent photos on the potting bench are a joy to view - details to savor and so many elements of design. You really have a knack for composition - and I love that you shared both of your photo sessions. I did the same thing today - same set of photos two ways to get the look I wanted.

      Thanks for the kind words to my son. I'm overjoyed for him!

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  9. I have watched Jacob grow up and into himself the last three years. He's always been funny and quirky and smart and kind. One day he'll write a blog post (or whatever will be the newest social media) about his parents, particularly his mother. He knows it now, but he'll know it more when he's well and truly out in the world that his mother was always, always there for him.

    He will continue to do well, accomplish things we can't even imagine. You both did a wonderful job . . . on both boys.

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    1. You're in the trenches with me - taking on the daily battles - and you are a source of strength for me as a parent, an artist, and a person. Thank you for helping to give Jacob a rich and full life. As a writer, you speak his language, and your encouragement means the world to him - and to me.

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  10. Congratulations to your son on his graduation and accomplishments! I'm sure there will be many more to come.
    Your post was very touching, Donna

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    1. Thank you, Roxanne. Your kindness in visiting and commenting makes me happy - and I genuinely appreciate the time you take to keep in touch.

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  11. As everyone has echoed beautiful heartfelt words from a wonderful Mom. Great advice to your son, sweet, loving and known experience from a Mom. Gorgeous images of your baby. Congratulations to Jacob on his hard work.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. I owe a huge thank you to friends like you, because your friendship helps me to be a happier and healthier person, and that makes me a better mother. And so, I feel as though my son has been raised by a team of mothers all pulling together. Never too much love.

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  12. Beautiful images, my friend. You seem to have captured the heart of your son - the words, well, how blessed you are, how blessed Jacob is to have a mom like you. Congratulations to you both!

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    1. Thank you, June - for visiting and supporting and sharing. Your posts always challenge my thinking and open my heart - all to strengthen this mother's heart to do what is right rather than what is easiest.

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  13. Congratulations to you and your son, Donna. I had a lump in my throat as I read your words....so tender and full of the special love that only a mother understands .

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    1. Thank you, Caz. I know you are busy with the move and plans for your new home, and so it is extra special that you made time to visit here! Can't wait to hear more about your fresh, new life - glad you'l have a sidewalk just outside your door!

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  14. Oh Donna...this brought tears! How lucky all of you are in this warm and loving family! Fabulous images that will be treasured forever! And second, how lucky he is that his mom is an awesome photographer!

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  15. Donna what a beautiful and heartfelt post...you couldn't have worded it better...such a handsome boy and you can see the goodness shine through him...he will be fine...but so hard to let go of that last one...and what a brilliant job he has already done...
    Give him wings...and I'll tell you the truth...he will fly back to you more often that you think or sometimes need...
    So lovely...

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