not quite two

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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The last eight months have seen a great amount of change. Daphne, your first birthday was not necessarily a turning point – in the way that things drastically changed on that day or the day after – but looking back on that day now, everything seems so different. You are so much more of a little girl, and I love watching you grow.

In that time you have gone from walking to running – and jumping and bouncing and climbing – and take on physical challenges whenever you get the chance. You love to do things with people, asking everyone else to jump by pointing at them before you make your own attempt, and sharing in the joy of an accomplishment by shouting “yay!” and clapping your hands. You are stubborn, or determined one might say, I know I would rather be described that way and I’m sure you get some of that characteristic from me. It’s interesting to see it so present in your personality at such a young age. You no longer want help walking up stairs or eating meals with utensils, and are fairly patient with the noodles you balance on your spoon while bringing it to your mouth. Of course, plenty of times you dig your hand right in and we protest, but you are learning manners and copy so much of what we do. Any time we try something challenging we turn it into a song, and that usually encourages you to stay positive and listen. So, we have spent a lot of dinners cheering you on to take bites and chew your food which has led to trying quite a variety of things. Interestingly enough, if it’s out of the garden you will likely put it in your mouth without a second thought – you eat basil leaves picked right off the plant! While you are determined to be independent there are times you sweetly give us hugs and kisses (and that includes the dogs too) and it is so wonderful to hold you close.

I wonder what you’ll be like as an older sister. I think you are going to love it – you notice babies everywhere we go and wanted to see the picture of your new cousin again and again (my nephew was born a few days ago). When we ask you “where is the baby?” you smile and sometimes point to my belly or point to yourself. It’s a big concept to grasp but I have no doubt you’ll be cheering our family and your new sibling along.

This summer it was hard for me to feel like a good mom. I felt like I was always leaving you to work and getting distracted with a growing to-do list. I think any working mom feels that way, and I’m so grateful you’ve been able to spend your time without me with your dad. You guys have a lot of fun, he’s the best at being silly and making you laugh. He also teaches you so much about the outdoors and you go on walks and collect seeds or caterpillars and bring them home. You love animals, and enjoy helping feed the chickens and put them in the coop at night… but it doesn’t stop there. Most of your books have animals in the pictures or as the characters and you love to point them out and have me name or count them all.

We recently spent some time at the beach – your first time in the sand ever – and I have no doubt that if we lived near one we would be there year round. You were completely content sitting in a small pool of water that would occasionally be filled by waves, stirring and scooping a bucket of sand and sea and letting us smell the “soup” you were creating. We made you travel a lot on that trip and considering the amount of time spent in the car you did really well. You loved your time at grandma + grandpa’s playing in the backyard with your cousins and doing your first watercolor. When I left to shoot my wedding that Saturday you were sitting on the couch with grandpa and your cousins watching Polar Express and eating snacks. Grandpa loves that movie and I have no doubt it will be the first of many you watch with him. You were so content, and although I always hate to go I knew you didn’t mind if I did.

family portrait_triple_exposure

all of these images were taken while visiting my cousin in Danvers, Mass and shot on kodak portra film (image above is a triple exposure on the holga and the other two were shot on the contax 645).

mary_dougherty_lobster_film

every kid needs a picture of them holding a lobster, right?

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