defining a movement

My friend Laura asked me to make a video for the Mom 2.0 Summit art show that’s coming up in February.

And here it is!

Many thanks to Shutter Sisters for allowing me to use photos from the site.  And many thanks to the amazing photographers:  Karen Walrond, Jenny Lawson, Tracey Clark, Sarah Ji, Kristin Zecchinelli, Irene Nam, and Meredith Winn.

And here is the essay that I wrote for the video:

WHAT I WOULD TELL HER:  (If I knew what to say.)

You are a miracle.

And I have to love you this fiercely:  So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.

You’ll forget all this when you grow up.  But it’s okay.

Being a mother means having your heart broken.

And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.

And it’s the best there is.  And also, sometimes, the worst.

Sometimes you won’t have anyone to talk to.

Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve forgotten who you are.

But you must remember this:  What you’re doing matters.

And you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

The truth is, being a woman is a gift.  Tenderness is a gift.  Intimacy is a gift.  And nurturing the good in this world is a nothing short of a privilege.

That’s why I have to love you this way.  So I can give what I have to you.  So that you can carry it in your body and pass it on.

I have watched you sleep.  I’ve kissed you a million times.  And I know something that you don’t, yet:

You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day.

And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one.


Filed under for writers, news!, videos, visual art

61 responses to “defining a movement

  1. Pingback: what would you tell her? « the~spirit~of~the~river

  2. knsweber

    Beautiful in every way!

  3. oh my heart… even just reading your words get me teary. you are so very good. this is awesome.

  4. Brenda

    Beautiful. That is the first word that comes to mind.

  5. Marcia

    thanks, katherine. i am crying tears of love.

  6. Bird

    This is just how I’ve been feeling and you put it into the right words! Thank you!

  7. Amy

    Simply beautiful.

    It does mean having your heart broken…doesn’t it?
    But, it’s all worth it.

    Thank you Katherine.

    x0xx Amy

  8. I just checked your blog this morning to see if you had posted this yet. L O V E it. As always, you inspire me! Love Shutter Sisters, too.

  9. Wow. Words escape me. What a beautiful portrayal of motherhood you’ve crafted. What a powerful message of duty you’ve delivered. What an incredible inspiration you are for mothers everywhere. Thank you so much, Katherine… 🙂

  10. The words and images are so lovely! Thank you Katherine for this beautiful reminder that it is a privilege to be a Mom and it does matter… every day, every diaper, every snack, every bedtime…

  11. swellmama

    This is so incredibly beautiful. Thank you, thank you for writing it. I’ve just posted the video to my blog, and I will record your words for my daughter to read someday (she’s 2). Thank you!

  12. Pingback: What you’re doing matters « pretty*swell

  13. coffeequeen

    I love this. Thank you.

  14. okay, you just made me cry. thank you. this was a w e s o m e.

  15. Katherine, I swear, you make me cry (in a good way) almost every time I visit your blog. Thank you for sharing your words, your ideas and your lovely spirit with us. Love and peace to you and yours.

  16. thank you for giving us this. for ourselves and for our daughters. this is a masterpiece of motherhood Katherine. thank you.

  17. Amy

    I needed to hear that today. Thank you.

  18. Victoria

    I saw this on shutter sisters today and it just swept me away!
    I just had to stop by your site.
    My first reaction is posted there and to attempt to express those feelings again would be a little overwhelming.
    It definitely left me speechless and full of emotion, and inspired.
    Thank you for this wonderful piece.

  19. Lillian

    Truly amazing.

  20. Looking forward to seeing Mom 2.0 – if you have a chance to check out the Flashes of Hope work, please do so! Runing at the Museum of Printing History!

  21. Savannah

    Beautiful, beautiful. It makes me want to go kiss my napping babies on their little faces, before their little faces are 9 years old, and then 13, and then 24….

  22. Such a beautiful video and I love the words that go with it. It made me cry!

  23. Pingback: Mom 2.0 – Defining a Movement - Dawn Mikulich

  24. I know one thing for sure…I will be playing this video tomorrow for my daughter! I’m so glad you wrote the words down…I’m going to print them out and put them in my journal. There is nothing better in this world than being a Mom 🙂

  25. This is so beautiful…and perfect. Made me teary.

  26. Wow–so beautiful.

    I found the link to your video at Kind over Matter, then immediately had to go blog about it for my Saturday feature.

    I’m not a mother yet, but your video made me think so much of my own mom and appreciate everything she does. Thank you.

  27. T

    This is great. Thank you. Perfect for my girls.

  28. Oh, this is wonderful, and it made me cry.

  29. This has blessed me greatly. I am so grateful for having stumbled upon the video and am sharing it with every mother I know. I am a single mom, and the essence of every mother’s heart is captured here in less than 3 minutes. Bravo, and thank you.

  30. Your words, the video–so beautiful and heartfelt. I just found it on the wishstudio. I want to share it on my both of my blogs…I started a new one recently, focusing on joy. Your words describe, and your video illustrates the complex feelings of motherhood. And motherhood is where I’m at in my life…Being the best mom I can be. Thank you, Katherine. It’s been awhile since we connected–I mentioned your writing last year, and you responded on my blog, which was such a surprise and I really appreciated you taking the time to comment on my little blog : ) Thank you so much for this. And thank you to all who contributed to this beautiful work. I needed this today.

  31. I found you by accident, and I’m so happy I did. Thank you so much for everything you do. You just helped me stop and remember the beauty that is motherhood. You just helped me make it through another Monday morning- another day of getting them dressed, another day of rushing them off to school… you helped me breathe. and be thankful. and forgive myself for not being perfect.

  32. oneordinaryday

    Beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Thank you.

  33. Pingback: The story of your life {Camp Hill Newborn Photographer} » Anne Katherine Modern Children's Portraiture Blog

  34. Erin

    This is just unbelievable. So beautiful- it brought me to tears…you said everything that is in my heart. You really have a gift Katherine! Thank you for sharing.

  35. That was amazing, tears of pride, joy, love – thanks for putting my love for my children into such an eloquently written narrative!

  36. I can’t stop tearing up, each time I watch this lovely and true video. Even when I read the words! Thank you for making it! It’s beautiful! I love it!

  37. This was just what I needed. Absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for creating and sharing this. I am going to blog about this and pass it on to every mother and mother-to-be that I know. I am at a complete loss.

  38. I am posting a second time! I love this video, and I’ve listened to it repeatedly the last two days. Thank you so much. I even wrote about it on my blog. I just bought your book, “Everyone is Beautiful” yesterday. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Your essay has rocked my heart and moved me to write about how much I love my own child. I surrendered to the mother in me shortly after he was born, and learned that my love for him is but a reflection of my mother’s love for me, when she was alive. Thank you for shaking up my soul and reminding me of how what we’re doing really matters! We really are writing the story of our only life!

    Thank you so much! 🙂

  39. kayleen

    linked to this video a week ago and it caught me off guard. in no way did i expect to be affected by it, but it’s perfect. in every way. thank you.

  40. I saw your video/essay over at Tracey’s and had to share it with my sister and best friend! So mobving, so beautiful, so true.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  41. Ann

    OMG Katherine, Beautiful so beautiful. For me, overwhelming understanding, it’s so true! My kids are in their 20’s now (whew! but motherhood never ends). My sis has 3 little ones and she was just saying the other day how she has lost herself and wonders if she will have a life of her own when they grow up. I’m passing this on to her, I know it is just what she needs. Thank you

  42. Pingback: Fresh Art Photography - St. Louis Newborn, Children, & Family Photography

  43. Saw this video on Karen Walrond’s blog. I’m having my first in about 4 months. I think my love & appreciation for my mother & my desire to be a mother would have been enough to be affected by your words, music, & compilation of photographs. Maybe it wouldn’t have been enough. Either way, thank you for a beautiful video.

  44. Pingback: Tuesday Treasures « A Beautiful Ripple Effect

  45. Anna Katherine

    Thank you. A heart breaking week in understanding my child and his needs and his delays and where he will fit into the world. Exhausted from all the trying, all the research, all the phone calls to doctors and therapists and then I found this. Thank you. My heart needed it deeply and is why I was to led it. Beautiful and lyrical and deeply soulful.

  46. Pingback: Brief Visit « Pia’s Portal

  47. feelslikehomeblog

    This is stunningly beautiful and painful and striking and moving. And so very true.

    Thank you.

  48. Pingback: Mom 2.0 - Defining a Movement | Feels Like Home

  49. Monica Quintana

    Dear Katherine,
    Thank you! I´m a mother of a 9 yr old girl and a 6 yr old boy and Defining a Movement has touched me so deeply.. I want you to have a well done translation in Spanish for you as a gift, so here it is:
    Que le diria: (Si supiera que decir)
    Eres un milagro. Y tengo que amarte de esta manera feroz para que puedas sentirlo aun despues de irte a la escuela o incluso mientras duermes, incluso despues de que tu niñez se vuelva un recuerdo.
    Olvidaras todo esto cuando crezcas, pero no importa. Ser madre significa tener el corazon roto y significa amar y perder y alejarse para luego volver a estar juntos. Y es lo mejor que existe. A veces, tambien es lo peor.
    A veces no tienes a nadie con quien hablar. A veces te preguntas si acaso es que has olvidado quien eres.. Pero siempre debes recordar esto: Lo que haces, importa.
    Y debes ser valiente en tu vida para que otros puedan ser valiente con la suya.
    La verdad es que ser mujer es un regalo. La ternura es un regalo, la intimidad es un regalo y nutrir lo bueno de este mundo no es para nada un privilegio pequeño.
    Por eso tengo que amarte de esta manera, para que pueda darte todo lo que tengo. Para que puedas llevarlo en tu cuerpo y heredarlo a otros.
    Te he observado mientras duermes, te he besado un millon de veces y se algo que tu aun no conoces: Estas escribiendo la historia de tu propia vida, cada minuto de cada dia.. Y mi mayor deseo para ti, dulce niño, es que pueda yo enseñarte a escribir una buena historia.

  50. Dee

    You made my heart soar…….

  51. Pingback: The Editor’s February Favorites… « TodaysMama

  52. Pingback: Festa della donna? « Michellescrap’s Weblog

  53. Ashlee

    This is one of the most inspiring things I have seen in a very long time. Thank you.

  54. Pingback: Sometimes someone else says exactly what you feel. /  blogged bliss

  55. Pingback: pretty*swell » What you're doing matters

  56. I sent this link to all the amazing moms I know.
    Thank You!

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