The Day Everything Changed
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By Jennifer Lebo
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I thought this would be an easy blog post to write, but for some reason it's been the hardest one yet.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because it's not that easy to put down in words how one day, one event, can change the entire trajectory of your life.  Maybe it's because I'm feeling a little emotional about that day because it's moving too quickly into my yesterdays.  I'm thinking it might be a combination of many things.

Like most moms, I can remember that day vividly.  I can remember the nine months of anticipation and excitement leading up to that day, how excited I became as my belly grew, how engrossed I would become with every kick.  I can remember the complete shock when my water broke and we knew the baby was actually coming.  I can remember how clueless I was that day to what actually lay ahead of me, the absolute certainty I felt that I was about to deliver a girl, and the pure shock (and delight) when the doctor said “It’s a boy!”.  I can vaguely remember the 24 hours of contractions and labor, the 3 hours of pushing, the momentary mention of needing a C-section, and the enormous and somewhat pointy headed baby that we eventually delivered.  I can remember the hospital room, the movies we watched as we waited, the hour my mother arrived to hold my hand, the moment Scott fainted, and so many other details.  I remember trying to see my sweet baby for the first time through bloodshot eyes, and the feeling of relief and fatigue mixed together with pure joy, a bit of trepidation, and insane love.  Our Scotty had arrived.



That day was thirteen years ago yesterday.  Thirteen years.  Somehow that sweet, giant-headed, slightly ducky looking baby is now a gravel-voiced, giant-footed teenager who is days away from being taller than me.  I look back at that day and laugh at how clueless I was at what being a mom would mean.  I look back and I cry at how blessed and lucky I was to become mom to such a wonderful baby, and to two more sweet babies after that.  I even look back and consider how that day not only changed me into a mother, but into a photographer.

Yes, I credit motherhood for making me a photographer.  I didn’t even have a clue how to work a camera until my babies came along.  Scotty was the initial reason I ever learned how to take a decent photo.  After all, it’s pretty important to take a decent photo when you are mother to the world’s most beautiful child.  I’m betting you can relate.

My journey through motherhood travels side by side with my journey through photography.  As I discovered the subtleties of my baby and what made him unique, what made him happy, what made him tick, I also discovered the nuances of my camera, how to use it to bring out the beauty in my baby and his world.  Being a mommy suddenly made it important to become a decent photographer.  But then gradually, becoming a better photographer allowed me to be a better mom.


Photography was the tool I used to capture the precious moments of my own babies, and then eventually other people’s sweet babies too.  But as time passed, I discovered that photography soothed my soul, and made me happy.  And the more I was able to experience that happiness, the more fulfilled I became, the more peaceful I became, the better mother I became.  


And so that’s why I believe that on that day, 13 years ago, everything changed.  A baby was born.  And a mother was born.  And even a photographer was born.


I know my journey through motherhood is still only just beginning, and in some ways I feel like that naive new mother again, clueless as to what teen years will bring.  But today, I sit thankful for the gift I’ve been given to be mom to this awkward but oh so handsome teenaged boy, and to his spunky sister, and playful brother.  And I also sit thankful to him, and to them, for being the reason I pursued my passion.  I thank them for making me a mom, and a photographer.

Happy birthday, Scotty boy.  Dad and I could not be prouder.

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