Photo by Catherine Just
There’s not a lot that makes me really, truly yearn for the toddler days. Even all these years later, I recall how trying it was to have a small child underfoot. Don’t get me wrong; I adored my girls back then as much as I do now. It was just hard for me when they were young and I remember that well. All that to say, when I discovered this incredibly tender napping series from photographer and mother Catherine Just, my mama heart melted and I immediately began to long for tender moments of the past ... when my daughters were small enough to snuggle with me like this.
That Catherine was mindful enough to begin to document this time in the life of her son and that she captured such a connection between the two of them makes me envious that I hadn’t done the same. This series might be my favorite series of mother and child I have ever seen. Something tells me other mothers that see it might feel the same way.
"Naptime" in Catherine's own words:
"This nap series started as a way for me to figure out how to handle my stress during naptime. I wanted so badly for Max to go to sleep and it would often take him up to an hour or more. I would rock him in my arms while daydreaming about being somewhere else (like eating lunch or catching up with friends). It was maddening. I decided that if I needed to help Max fall asleep (which I did, and that wasn't going to change any time soon), it was up to me to change my experience. I took out my iPhone and started to take photos of the moment Max finally fell asleep. It shifted my perception. I noticed how the light was falling on Max, I witnessed our closeness in these photos, and I was more present to experience him. I have continued to take these naptime photos for the past three years and it has become a documentation of this most sacred time in our lives."
Catherine Just is a photographer, spiritual teacher & coach, and proud mama to Max, 3, her daily nap-partner and light of her life. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.