Photography: Erin Galindo

I am a documenter, a storyteller. Like most parents, I’ve been using photography as a way to document my children and their childhood since they were babies. All their firsts, their smiles, their tears — and I’ve been there through it all. In my archive of images, there is always someone missing: their own mother.

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While I am not someone who enjoys being in front of the camera, the fact that I was missing from their childhood was almost a dishonest portrayal of their lives and my own. If I’m being realistic about motherhood and how my life revolves around my young children; and honest about how they are my heart and soul; and how central I am to who they are right now; then I should be on the record. I want them to remember that their mother was right there with them and taking great joy in raising them. The time has come to let go of my own fears of imperfection and give testimony to how truly beautiful motherhood is. I know I will treasure these photos in the years to come. I hope that someday my children will look at them with wonder and with fondness, remembering their own joy and how much they are loved.

Erin Galindo