Sometimes I say, "don't move".

He pauses, still, letting his old mama do her thing, when he doesn't know that what I'm really saying is, "Please, son, just stay? I beg of you. Stay ten, for me, would you?"

Because what I'm asking of him is more than to let me make this portrait, it's the pouring out of my heart, begging him to remain as he is just this moment.

If I've learned one thing of this motherhood gig, it's that they just don't listen. Each year they grow, their features change, independence finds them. No matter how much we plead, our wee caterpillars gain their wings.

I feel pretty lucky to get to be here to watch it. To document it. To see how amazing the transformation really is. Until then, the moment when his wings are complete, I'll keep asking him the same thing. With the slightest hope that maybe one day, he'll remain.

And if not, at least I'll have the images to always remember, how amazing that caterpillar really was.