I became a suddenly single mom. When I ended my marriage my son was only 11 months old. This ending was not planned, it was swift. It threw us into a tailspin that took years to recover from. In spite of all of our challenges I made an unconscious decision then, that today boggles my mind. I snapped pictures of Caleb constantly. Regardless to what was going on around us and to us, regardless of the overwhelming challenges of that moment, I snapped. Through all of my moving around and trying to find my footing, I did not have that one kitchen wall that I’d always dreamed of. That one wall where I’d measure the height and growth of my children. That place to see how far they’d come. However I had a phone that had a camera in it, and I constantly told him to smile through our pain. Sometimes on bus benches, sometimes sleeping on someone else’s couch. I gathered those moments as I’d sat in awe that I’d given birth to this little walking extension of my heart. This being that I thought I’d never have due to my health complications. He was here and I took notice. I would return to the same places again and again, and take pictures of him as he grew. Whatever weather, whatever grief, whatever limitations, I would return to those places. Looking back over the horizons of that dark time, I am amazed at how resilient the spirit is, how full the will to live is. How if you determine to focus on the good in any moment, you will find it. I am overwhelmingly blessed to look into my rearview and see that my darkest days are there and not here. I am awed by how the Lord kept my mind and heart. In great part that keeping was through this little being that I’d birthed, oh how life given returns as life multiplied. He is my reason, Caleb is my reason I continued and didn’t break. For I knew I could not because he needed me not to, and I needed him to need me not to. So I preservered. My life in seasons that center around his growth is now my new measuring stick, my new growth wall. The laboring of the carry, the infancy of the awakening, the stumble in the toddlerdom, and the standing tall with new height. It’s all reflected in him. Oh what joy fills my soul.