Kim’s Path

Photo courtesy of K. Calderwood

Three kids. I know, these three … again. They’re just so easy to write about behind a standard Samsung tap-away screen. My thumbs gladly take time away from their piano playing, hot dawg slinging duties to grace in one word at a time. It’s a joy.

Today, however, isn’t about what’s behind this phone or ahead for those well-loved children on their way to another happy place.

This pleasant October digital morning dedication is for the one who is always behind these pictures … the mom – the “always there” encourager. She deserves recognition, love, and support.

I don’t know why today seems like the day to acknowledge her. It just … does. This isn’t new. I’ve known and admired Kim a long time. From the time she timidly walked around the corner of a dining room to take her first piano lesson until now, there’s been a special bond. Years it has been. Too many, almost, to count.

In many ways, she set the standard for hundreds of students to follow. Yes, there was – and continues to be – an extraordinary pool of genetic music material woven into the fabric of her family. This, alone, is never enough, however. It takes work and dedication to play well. Kim put in her time and effort. Was there struggle? Of course. Did we laugh along the way? Absolutely.

So, we had the past … and have the now in 2022. Both of us are years away from those black and white experiences. Family dynamics have changed. Locations in our lives are significantly different. In a phrase, “life moved on …”.

Even though time ticked forward, memories stayed and social media, thankfully, allowed us to continue forward. Through this medium, I became aware of her magnificent photos. (Of course, it helps her three kiddos are ridiculously photogenic). This, combined with my love of amateur words and phrases, made a perfect pair once again.

Teacher/student. Photographer/writer. Thus…

Her daughter’s physical expression above tells the story for me. She encapsulates Kim’s story. The outstretched arms and hope for the future – while leading the way for her younger siblings – embodies Kim’s essence. She was the leader of her own two younger siblings who, in their own right, are spectacular, successful young adults as well.

Yes, all moms deserve love and support. Of course they do. The mom behind the pictures I love to write about earns my love and support today – not only because of the wonderful lives she’s giving her kiddos along side her husband, but also simply because Kim is … Kim. She is a person who overcomes adversity, faces life head-on, loves every life experience she can find, enjoys her friends, adores music, and dedicates all she has to family.

For me, she is still that little girl who peeked around the corner and whose feet barely touched the floor the first time she sat down on the bench.

What she didn’t realize as time went on and her playing matured, my respect for her barely touched the floor … and hasn’t since.

May her path forward be as joyous as the picture above, and may every image to come inspire words yet to be written.

So far, it’s been my utmost pleasure to walk along the path with her.

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