Letter No. 7

To my Dots.

The time has come. This letter month. I am always amazed at what we do in a month. What we learn. How things have shifted. What you are learning in school. We are a month away from the end of another school year. The next tooth you lost, the growth spurt, the new food you tried, the Kumon pages, the tiny zit that appeared, the newest wrinkle on my face, Passover, your not so straight hair that you want straight, the new bracket in your mouth, your new routine in the morning, your broken nail, the harder book you read to me, the math test you aced, the games you downloaded on your itouch, the DC Cupcake, Temple Run, my gained pound, new artwork you brought home from school, Easter, the anticipation of what makes you the most anxious, getting through it, my love for Frango Mints, your love for Frango Mints, celebrating your twin cousins birthdays, my failed cleanse, the coldest shoot you sat for me, the job I did not get. The season has been unseasonably unseasoned. We have had snow in April, well, flurries, but still. It is usually in the 70’s and 80’s by now. You are another month older. I am so happy about the things we have been able to celebrate. Even the tiniest of things. We are working towards our goals. We are finding ourselves. We are transforming. We are being vulnerable together. That there is no shame or fear in our vulnerabilities. We are learning from our mistakes and celebrating our amazing strengths. I am reading “Daring Greatly” with Brené Brown. She is teaching me to be a better parent through pushing through, leaning in, through knowing how vulnerability is one of the best emotions and things you can have as a parent and as a child. It is moving through all of these things in life that we somehow fear or feel shame from, it is learning to cope, it is learning to grab it in it’s tracks and transform from the feelings into strength and resolve. This is a month of grace, with resolute and uncanny vulnerability and socking it in the face, acknowledge it, grow from it and move up, over, down, sideways or lean into it. And that all of us have these things. From Brené Brown’s Parent Manifesto: “You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections…..I will let you see me and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you……and live and love with my whole heart and dare greatly…” These are the things I am so passionate about and what I want to teach you and for you to know.

These images were taken April 11, 2013 at the Eckert Family farm.

Please link to our wonderful and inspiring blog circle. Next is one of my dearest and sweetest photographer friends, Amy Lucy Lockheart out of Minneapolis, MN.

Letters to Our Daughters | April 2013 » Minneapolis Photographer – Olive Avenue Photography - […] head over to Sara Tegman | St. Louis Photographer for her letter and amazing […]

Ginger Unzueta - Sara,
I love these pictures..they are beautiful as always, the softness, the colors.But of course, I love the heart of you that you share so well. I really love the words you share from the book you are reading. Beautiful!

Amy Lucy - Sara, what beautiful and true words you write for your daughters. It is so true that we need to embrace our imperfections, to find joy in it all, and to learn from our mistakes. How blessed those girls of yours are to call you mom, and you, in turn, to have them. Your images are stunning, my friend. xoxo

amy grace - sara, i love the concept of derailing shame and doubt. of grabbing it and wrestling it into something else. gracefully. with humor, with acceptance. wonderful advice, wise advice that i can use on this very day. you don’t simply profess things in these letters. they don’t feel empty, never, your words. they aren’t fluff, they aren’t just hopes, they are your real life, your soul and theirs in one beautiful and sincere effort. you’ve made me think, and given me comfort, as you undoubtedly do for them. all of the bumps, hiccups, tasks, zits (and we’ve had a few already that have taught us about a very down to earth grace too)they are part of the mix. they are as real as the inspiration, the love. they take up space in our lives and we navigate with strength…all of this i got from you today. and how perfect are these images…xoxo

shalonda - sara…first of all cheers to a failed cleanse, ha i did the same this month hahaha. now onto this incredible letter…WOW. these images take my breathe away but your words…yours words are so real and so full of heart and life. “lean into it” what a soul bursting translation of a book i must read.

Kirsty - Sara, the beauty of this letter is in its embrace of imperfection – isn’t it all too easy to either think we’re getting it all wrong yet pretend we’re getting it all right? This letter says it’s OK to be real and this is something I want for my girls too – I want them to see me as having flaws, but without criticism.. and for them to be able to embrace their own imperfections – really, truly, this spoke to me and was just what I needed – thank you sweet friend x

Debbie W - First..love the nickname. Dots is just cute! I really enjoy reading this letter, Sara. All the little details that happened in a month (and that’s a lot!) and especially the part about being vulnerable and finding ourselves. Your daughters learn something new from you and so do I. Oh, and of course I adore the pics too. I always enjoy the sisterhood relationship you depict in your pics. Makes me miss my own sis. xoxo

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