Holy cow, has it really been almost three weeks since I was in the South?! I guess keeping busy makes time really fly, but it seems like just yesterday I was eating schnitzel for the first time ever while drinking beer from a horn, packing my buddy Sam + his belonging in to my car to move him back up north, and darting around to photoshoots in Forsyth Park in between my unending quest to catch tiny lizards!
Anywho, on to the good stuff! Which is sugar and spice, and everything nice; little miss Zuri was brimming with all things sweet and sassy. What a big, beautiful personality in such a tiny little package! Another native from Kent Island (what is it about us folks that gravitate towards sweet Savannah?!), her momma Lauren and I caught up at breakfast while Zuri slowly warmed up to me in between gobbling up fruit and wobbling around the Sentient Bean. I was, after all, just a blurry face when I last saw her during her pre-crawling, cooing newborn stage.
But full bellies make for fast friends! By the time we were done eating and ready to rock and roll, Zuri grabbed my hand and led me through Forsyth towards the playground, and on to our shoot.
We quickly decided that it wasn't light-coat weather, and got down to some serious play-time. Watching Zuri clamber up the junglegym and zip down the slides, pulling goofy faces at Lauren and stopping to give her some smooches was too sweet for words.
this is Zuri's very best "smile please!!" face. so silly!
Anyone who's hung around me for more than five minutes knows that I've got a seriously strong curiosity streak. I can and will play Twenty Questions with any and everyone I can, especially when it comes to learning about how people live their every day life. I'm incredibly fortunate that my work as a photographer has opened so many little doors and windows in to such a wide variety of lifestyles, and hanging with Lauren and Zuri was no exception. As our time together came to a close, I watched in awe as Lauren, with well-practiced hands, perched Zuri on her shoulders and proceeded to work some voodoo-fabric-magic, nestling her most precious cargo at an ideal vantage point.
There was something tender and practical and primal and totally logical in this kiddy-wrapping, so I asked Lauren to give me some more info on the practice of babywearing. And I figured that you, dear reader, with future or present roles as mothers and fathers and grandparents and siblings and caretakers, might also be interested in learning more. She sent over a link to this beautiful entry entitled "Why I Wear My Daughter" by the blog Girl of Cardigan. I'll share some of my favorite lines from the entry, but I highly suggest you read the whole piece (but only if you've the ability to hug/love/smooch everyone you hold dear as soon as you're done with it; it brings out alllllll the feelings).
"I wear my daughter because of the way she holds her right arm stick-straight ahead of us. Perched in her place on my hip, she stretches one arm long and steers us with invisible reins into our day, and I (mostly) resist the urge to gallop. I wear her because I prefer our hearts squarely leveled and the space between us perfectly sized for the whispering of secrets and the exchanging of smiles."
"I wear her because something of the days when we shared one body returns to us, and we are a unit, watching and interacting from the same vantage point. With her head close to mine, I can see what she’s seeing – I can track her interest as it locks onto new objects and identify them for her, watch her roll their sounds around behind those eager eyes, move closer so her sticky wondering hands can touch and learn and name."
"I wear my daughter because life is short. These precious days when she is small and clutch-able, all tiny grabbing fingers and sweet baby kisses and that incredible incomparable head-smell – these days are mere minutes, here and gone and never to return. I wear her because life is long, and long will be the years when she rejects my affectionate advances, when she is grown-gone and full of adulthood and no longer mine to cuddle at whim."
...*cough* Huh, what? ....Nope. Definitely not. My glasses are not a little foggy, but I am going to go dash off and give my own mama a big hug. No, I'm outta here, but go read this site for more info on babywearing: facts, tips, the whole shebang. Big thank you + cheers to the three beautiful ladies that made this shoot: Zuri, Lauren, and the balmy, beautiful city of Savannah -- much love to y'all! -M