Candace, on Kinship. Sling Diaries, Vol VII.
The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
I still remember the moment my mom first hugged my stepmom. It was joyous. It was pure. It was a shared connection. No contempt on either of their faces. Just a loving embrace. A full on, arms around each other, embrace. My dad and I, eyebrows raised, exchanged a knowing look, something similar to shock. These two women had set aside their differences and loved one another for the briefest of moments in celebration of me. My high school graduation day.
Because of that moment, I like to imagine us as one collective, one unit celebrating together, grieving together. How, if we lived in this perfect world, we’d be that movie scene. The one where the baby makes her entrance into the world, cut to the waiting room, everyone hugging, crying, laughing. Mom. Dad. Stepmom. Stepbrothers. Hands held. Smiles shared.
Instead, your entrance to this world was fast and unexpected, but ultimately quiet. A moment between mother, father, and baby. We had two visitors at the hospital. They never had to wait in the stark lighting of a waiting room. Actually, it was perfect. Our only concern was you.
You see, my fault is in wanting everyone to be happy, comfortable, at ease. I worry too much, analyzing every sentence, every gesture, every… thing. Every hug. Like the hug between the woman who put EVERYTHING into raising me and the woman who constantly sought my love, not as a step in mother, but as a companion.
In that embrace, my mother said these words, "WE raised a wonderful woman." That "we" bears the weight of over 15 years. 15 years of a single mother finally allowing herself to accept this love from my father's wife.
I don’t understand a lot of the whys. Like, why two people, so in love they got married on Valentine’s Day, separated when I was only two. At this point in my life, I don’t need to understand the whys. In life, we'll have many whys that will, undoubtedly, go unanswered.
Family goes beyond the whys. What matters is that they love. They love me, they love you, they love their families.
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