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Behind The Lady With The Camera

Dear Mommy,

You told me today that we were having family photos and I needed to dress nice, but when we got there you stood behind the lady making funny faces while everyone looked at me and giggled.

I wondered why everyone was staring at me. You looked so pretty Mom. You still had that tattoo I drew on you earlier, and your hair was a bit tussled from when you tickled me and I squealed with delight. We had a great day. I won’t remember it though because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

When we got the photos you were so excited. You told me how cute I looked and how big I was getting. I asked to see the photos but they were all of me. I see me all the time, I wanted to see you.

I wanted to see your face when my tiny hands brought you flowers for the first time. I wanted to see your smile as we looked at each other. I wanted to see us holding hands. Mommy? I asked. But you weren’t in the photos, because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

It’s years later and I’m growing up. I’m packing my things for my new house and you ask me to go through the family photos to see if I want to display any in my new home. I sort through hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me. Not finding any of you. I pass on the photos as it’s kind of odd to display your own baby photos in your home. I would have framed and hung photos of us from my childhood but there aren’t any, because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

I have my own kids now and they want to know what Grandma looked like when I was little. I tell her she had beautiful hair, kind eyes, and I gave her a few wrinkles. I describe how you used to play with me with all your heart so you never had perfect hair. I regale my children in tales of how messy you got when making my favourite meals and how big your smile was when you saw me running to you. I have no pictures to show them however because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

Life has come full circle, my kids are grown and having their own. They don’t visit as often and when they do I watch as my children raise their kids just like you did with me. Playfully, passionately and lovingly. I wish I had a photo to hold, to look back on those times, to remember you. But I don’t,

Because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

Kayleigh is a professional photographer, freelance writer, boy mom, and entrepreneur. You can see more of Kayleigh’s work at on Facebook  or on Instagram

A very special thank you to Shannon Smith at , Kaley Harrison, Corrina Webster, and Michelle St.Laurent for being amazing, strong, brave mothers. I am so lucky to have such miracles in my corner everyday inspiring, motivating and loving me. 

All photography done by 16 Seasons at