The moment I saw this photo of my beautiful daughter in law and my grandson taken by photographer Naomi Lynn Vacaro I knew it would someday be a painting. Naomi is great at taking photos that already look like classic paintings. So it doesn’t take a great imagination to envision it as such.
While I usually focus on making the image look as much like a portrait of the models, this one was motivated by feeling and not in it being a portrait. So as I blocked the painting in, I lost focus of it being a specific mother and child and focused on the feeling of the sacredness of motherhood. I wanted it to be representative of the Madonna, but not be her exclusively. I wanted her to represent the Holy gift of motherhood in all women.
For me being a mother and grandmother has been my greatest and most fulfilling job of my life. The bond I have with my children is so beyond words; and the bond with my grandchildren is a golden thread that wraps so tightly around my heart I could burst with joy.
I love this piece because the focus is not on the mother, but on the mother’s focus on the child, because that is what being a mother is all about. Motherhood is learning to die to self and give your everything for someone who is totally defenseless and dependent on you. Sleepless nights, fevered brows, knee scrapes and heat aches, motherhood is pouring love into the lives of our children in hopes that they will learn from our example how to love and how to expect to be loved.
NOTE: To you young mothers;
I know it’s hard to see the beauty and sacredness of motherhood with tiered bloodshot eyes. I know the difficulty of sleepless nights, praying that the baby will sleep through the night just once. That the 2 year old will stay in her own bed all night instead of crawling in yours and laying on your face. I know the frustration of adolescence, acne and hormones. My children are all grown and married and starting families of their own. and I still have an occasional sleepless night worrying about them.
I remember the days of just wanting 5 minutes of silence. Now with all 4 grown and out of the house I have hours of the silence every day. I find myself longing for and cherishing the days my children and grandchildren visit so I can hear their joyous laughter in these walls again. I know it’s hard being a young mom. But take it from an old mom, it all passes all too quickly. Try to cherish every minute that you possibly can. This t0o shall pass, and when it does you will dream of just a few hours more to hold your babies in your arms and feeling their sweet breath on your neck.