a peek inside the fishbowl

01 Jun, 2009

Dear Emma

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

You turned ten on May 15 and here we are on June 1. Time flies so quickly I can hardly believe it.

Just over a decade ago I was a 200 lb woman about to give birth to a 10lb 3oz baby.

I remember overhearing the nurses at Grace Hospital, talking amongst themselves right after you were born. A ten pounder! they said excitedly. I was too groggy to realize what this meant, but I know now that I should have been given a special medal for birthing someone of your girth.

You head was so big you had to be hoovered out of me. That’s okay. I forgive you, but please remember that when I ask you to clean your room.

When we brought you home from the hospital we didn’t really know what do to with you, so we did the only thing we could think of: take photos. Daddy thought it’d be funny to lay you down on the floor next to a ten-pound watermelon for scale.

It’s been a long time since you’ve been my baby. These years have gone by so quickly. The days are long and the years are short.

I brought you to my photo lighting class last week to act as my model for some studio portrait-taking practice. I’m glad I did. As I look at the many photos from that day I can still see traces of your baby face. It’s a face I’ve been looking at for a long time, with as much worry and love that a heart can muster.




You are an immensely likable person Emma. You are kind, patient, generous, and keen to try new things. You’re fun-loving, big-hearted and goofy. (I wonder who you get that from?) Our portrait-session reminded me that we should have more one-on-one time together. For some reason it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

I promised myself I wouldn’t write too much in this space because I don’t want to embarrass you too much (I’ll save that when the boys start a’callin’) so I will leave it at that.

There’s a special place in my heart for you –  my first born girl – and I love you very much.

16 Responses to "Dear Emma"

1 | Chantal

June 1st, 2009 at 8:12 am


Those photos are beautiful! Happy Birthday Emma!

2 | Lynn

June 1st, 2009 at 9:27 am


I want to see the watermelon picture!

3 | The Veg Next Door

June 1st, 2009 at 11:53 am


Sweet post. I want to see the watermelon post too.

4 | Loukia

June 1st, 2009 at 12:01 pm


Just a beautiful post that made me get all teary at work! Darn it! ;)
She’s beautiful. Being a mom is the most amazing thing in the entire world. You’re a wonderful mom!

5 | andrea

June 1st, 2009 at 12:17 pm


I am digging out the watermelon pic RIGHT NOW.

6 | andrea

June 1st, 2009 at 12:49 pm


It’s up!

Click here to view the famous watermelon shot.

And here is one of my favourite photos of Emma, who’s exactly one day old in this photograph.

7 | DaniGirl

June 1st, 2009 at 12:53 pm


Awww, what a sweet post! And this? “I forgive you, but please remember that when I ask you to clean your room”? I am TOTALLY stealling that line to use on my abnormally large babies some day!!

8 | LO

June 1st, 2009 at 5:49 pm


This post brings tears…on so many levels:)

9 | The Veg Next Door

June 1st, 2009 at 7:49 pm


Amazing that that came out of you!!! You make sure to remind her of that when she gets lippy with you when she’s a teen. :-)

10 | Loukia

June 1st, 2009 at 8:47 pm


The lilac picture is so sweet… and I love the watermelon picture!

11 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

June 2nd, 2009 at 8:54 am


The lilac picture is precious. I love the little toes peeking out from the bottom.

12 | Sherry

June 2nd, 2009 at 12:22 pm


Wow, time flies! You have such beautiful children.

13 | BeachMama

June 2nd, 2009 at 3:13 pm


Great photos, and how wonderful that you got to bring her to class with you! Not sure what lights you were using, but I have a stationary studio light (as in non-strobe) and if ever you want to practice when your course is done, let me know and I can set up the studio (also known as the gym) for you.

14 | andrea

June 2nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm


Thanks all!

BeachMama: Thanks for the offer!
Do you have a lightbox attached to your light or do you use an umbrella?

15 | Some New Friends | Daily Unadventures in Cooking

January 6th, 2010 at 10:44 am


[…] her life with some beautiful pictures. Check out her posts about the family’s activities, the open letter to her daughter, or her rant about conditioner and shampoo bottles. Personally, I really love a […]

16 | Emma

January 26th, 2012 at 5:11 pm


Hi its Emma!Just saying that thats super sweet mom thanks!
I love you.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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