Los Angeles newborn photography // ©2017 Sun & Sparrow family and newborn photographer in Los Angeles
The Stillness of Motherhood // From our new mommy, Autumn Krauss
“What are you running from?”
I was asked this question a long time ago. Eleven years ago, to be exact. It was asked in a generic Starbucks by a guy that I no longer know but I remember that he paid for my Caramel Macchiato and pulled out my chair, even though we were at a coffee shop and I thought that was weird. Yet, somehow, even though I can’t really remember his face (I feel like he was blond?) or even his last name, his question has come with me as I’ve passed the markers of life: getting a masters degree, getting married, getting pregnant.
I think it’s stayed with me because, when it slips up to me in moments of quiet, I tell myself it’s not true, though I have a sense that ironically, I’m trying to outrun a question about how I am running from things—and that those things have unpleasant names like Fear and Anger and Doubt. Always Doubt.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I started running within the perimeters of my life: I took on as much work as possible, I went to the gym incessantly, I saw friends near and far, I designed a nursery for Juliet, I took pictures for my Instagram, I kept busy, busy, busy and that busyness was exhausting but that exhaustion was better than the stillness of my own thoughts.
Then she came. Juliet. Born on October 20th, a day before the hottest week of the year. And I quickly learned something about babies. You can’t outrun them. They tether you, they keep you, they pull you into their rhythms and mysteries and suddenly you find yourself feeding your baby at 4am and you can’t go anywhere and you’re tired of looking at your phone and then the question comes to you in the dark: “What are you running from?”
You can’t put the baby down to go do something so you must wrestle but you are so very tired, so the wrestling turns to prayer: Lord, Have Mercy and you pray for yourself and your little girl with a desperate sincerity that you’ve never had before. And while that darkness is still there, wrapped all around you, it begins to feel more like the thing that will save you rather than drown you and you think that there just might be sanctification in the stillness of motherhood.