Siobhan is someone you might recognize my having talked about before here on the journal. I visited her in England last fall and took these portraits but she and I have been virtual friends for nearly eight years through our blogs and social media. She is quite definitely my favorite virtual-turned-real-life-friend and though my practice of doing that throughout my life baffles some people (you mean you’re going to somewhere you’ve never been to meet someone in person that you met online… that you don’t even know…) I have to say that it is that very openness that has invited what I would deem some of the dearest friends I have in this world.
She has taught me many things in the way of bringing artistry and beauty to all that you do (we share love and vocations with photography and knitting for one thing, though she has many other talents besides).
But one of the primary ways I’ve witnessed this is through her relationship with her daughter, Rory.
Being a mother is a thing that in most societies, defines a woman once she becomes it. All-at-once she loses her identity as anything other than Mother.
Motherhood is an incredible roll to have and embody. One I hope to have myself one day. Indeed, it is through my own spectacular Mother raising me in just the way she did that I have the view and independence I do in the world. If it weren’t for the way she helped shape my view of myself and others and the world around me, I wouldn’t view it as the miraculous and beautiful place that I do.
And so, I believe, that it is because of women’s own personal identity and diverse and unique traits that make them good mothers. It is so important to show our daughters what it means to be a woman. To be an individual to them and not just a Mother. To help shape the understanding of themselves through lenses not specific to jobs or rolls or activities. That worth and merit is defined outside of what we do and who the world says we are.
How to navigate the oceans of emotion that some of us are born with, how to follow our curiosity, how to be brave in our individuality amidst a world telling us to conform.
Watching Siobhan with Rory is just fun. The way she communicates with her is truly quite unlike anything I’ve ever really seen between a Mother and Daughter. They are not just Mother and Daughter, but friends, a team. There is open honesty and listening and patience and consideration in the smallest ways to the biggest.
There is an intricate balance of allowance and freedom with children vs. the restriction and discipline it takes to shape them in healthy ways. The ways of which are of course endless in discussion, and will always be from now until the end of time. But I think the thing I have learned through watching my friends with their children, and of course just being a child myself once: There is no one right way.
Children are individuals just as you are and they show signs of their specific and uniquely created selves from day one and it takes patience and kindness and love to encourage and foster their growth just as it does with anything tiny young and beautiful.
Siobhan is so much more than a Mother. But it is within her view and execution of Motherhood that I have learned so much in the way of being an artist and inviting and creating beauty in your life for not only yourself but the ones you love as well.
It should also be noted that Rory herself is now a dear friend of mine too.
But of course, learning how to do yoga-dance in the kitchen, run around town confidently in a giraffe costume, independently bake tasty cakes and requesting moon themed bedtime stories is enough to make you fall in love with just about anyone I suspect…
Truly though, I cannot wait to continue witnessing the beautiful human being she is becoming and feel so fortunate to have personally felt and experienced the very special and strong light that she is in this world.
Since my visit, Siobhan has now had the beautiful second daughter that she was expecting in these photographs. I cannot wait to meet the new addition to her girl-gang (Not to exclude you Gav… you know we all love you dearly too. You’re just a bit outnumbered over there is all) and know that there will be at least one more beautiful, creative and kind human being in this world.
If you enjoyed this Artists In Film essay please check out the others below!
A newer series I’ve started
Spaces In Film
Keep an eye out, because there are more essays in the works!
Thanks for reading friend.
This project is one that is incredibly close to my heart and it means the world that you paused for it.