The one giving his little brother a piggy back across the stream. The one giving the same brother a ride back to the car, he’s a real tough guy, or so he wants me to think. I could show you countless photos of Tommy painting his sisters nails for her, helping a wounded brother or simply being caring. But I’d better not overdo it and let his secret out of the bag. He’s getting to big for me to post too much publicly about him anymore. He’s already started saying “No mom! don’t put it on your blog/FB.” He has friends getting Instagram accounts/email and FB, while all I can think is SLOW DOWN, it’s happening too fast.
Tommy’s in this strange place right now, somewhere in-between wanting to be a kid and wanting to be a grown up. I heard something a while back that has really helped me to understand him. “Don’t force your desires onto your kids” So, I’ve been trying to give him some slack, let the rope out a bit and let him do some growing on his own. I remember all to well how it feels to be exactly his age, and remembering that has really allowed me to step back and observe rather than meddle (too much).
So this kid with a giant heart, a big softie is starting to create this tough guy exterior. Maybe it’s a boy thing, I don’t get that part, or maybe he’s just trying to protect that big heart from getting hurt. Whatever it is that is changing in him right now, I want to be his constant. His rock. When he wants to talk I let him talk, and when he wants time ALONE, I fight back the tears of my baby pushing me away and give him some time until he’s ready. And most of the time I’m pretty good at it, but being a girl I find myself frequently asking him if he’s ready to talk only to be told “leave me alone”. **Must teach Ruby to leave bears alone til bears want to come out of their cave!
Something that is close to my heart is nature. I love being outside, at the beach, walking in nature and just go wherever the moment takes me. Tommy is the same and I dig that about him. So I decided to take the boys out to one of my old favorite hiking spots, Holy Jim Canyon. But what I didn’t remember is how gnarly the drive in is! I was able to take the suburban only so far, and then we still had to hike 2 miles in to the trail head. As we were hiking in there were bunches of cars passing us up, Lucas looked at me and said “Hey Mom, I don’t get it…WHY couldn’t we drive the suburban any farther in? It is a truck!” to which Tommy answered, “It’s not REALLY a truck Lucas, It’s just good for driving us around to all of our sporting events and holding all of our junk!”. Well put, Tommy.
We made it all the way to the trail head and Eli just wasn’t going any further. He said his legs hurt, this from the kid that will play soccer for HOURS without stopping. Oh well, maybe he isn’t a natural Tarzan despite his looks.
I am in love with this first shot, It speaks to me. My 3 boys as they are, Lucas in a very independent stage out to show the world he can do it all on his own, Eli still clinging to his big brother for help and Tommy rising to occasion.
That is the candy heart I’d pick for my kids. AWESOME:
I posted this pic on Facebook today. See how sweet they all look??
WELL, after you look at this one, take a look at the one below it. Now, THAT is my REALITY. It was shot about 5 seconds before this one. A few quick words of coaching, and I got a shot I will treasure… and I WILL treasure this one but the candid makes my heart really, really happy!
He may kill me for posting this, but I had to. I just had to. This kid is going to have SO MANY blackmail photos for his wedding reel one day! Also notice how little R is being bossy I can almost her her saying “NO THANK YOU LUCAS!!!”
Sublime and full of awesome!
Dr Seuss said it the best when he said. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” I find this to be MORE than true most of the time and it used to frustrate me to no end that no matter how hard I tried to create memories, the less enjoyable it was. This year I pretty much just sat in the middle of the Chaos and soaked it all in. Every last laugh, every last hug, kiss and tear. I embraced it instead of rushing through it and wishing it away. That felt good.
I very much appreciate the gift of Photography that I’ve been given. Although these photos are not “perfect” by any means, they capture my family as it is, and that is more than I can ask for. Perfectly imperfect.
This is my Circus. These are my Monkeys.
Images below are as follows:
Great Grandparent Love.
Joe & Isa Love.
Christmas Morning Love.
**special note on photography in this post. sometimes you’ve just gotta roll with what you’ve got or you’ll miss it. my only equipment that was out was my body with a 35mm attached, no flash, high iso and yuck light…but i got the memory and that’s what matters sometimes, kinda like this post.
You know those catalogs, the ones that make you feel like your life is total and utter chaos?
You know the ones I’m talking about, I can’t be the only one who when they receive their version of the PB kids or PB teen catalog that sits down riveted as if I’m reading a good fiction novel?
All of the cute kids, behaving, sitting and coloring, reading, laughing. Hair neatly combed to the side or braided. Sibling outfits coordinating. The playrooms are all perfect as if ANYONE would PLAY in that room! I just want to put ONE marker into the colored pencil bin. Just ONE. Would anyone notice? Oh, and how about those chalkboards, perfectly drawn on and then erased and re-drawn on as to not look “too perfect”. NEWSFLASH! NOTHING, NOTHING about that is REAL!
I used to think it was, and the really sad part about it is, I know marketing but they still GOT me. I meticulously organized all the animals into the “animal” bin, sorted the Lego’s, blocks, paints, pens, puzzles, by kid, by color, labeled the bins, labeled the shelves hell, I even labeled my kids. This sort of thing can drive a person to madness when at the end of each day all that crap is ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND MIXED UP! Despite my best parenting efforts, the “don’t start one activity until you put away the first one” lip service. Who I am I to talk?! Mrs. multi-tasker extraordinaire… dinner on, laundry in, photos downloading AND editing, doing homework, fielding calls, un-stuffing the roll of TP from the toilet. I think you get the picture.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bought my FAIR SHARE from Pottery Barn back in the day, it’s pretty good quality and holds up great from kid to kid and that’s why tonight I just had to laugh when I looked over and saw this:
You see those red blobs in the bottom of the frame? Those are the fabulous Pottery Barn Anywhere Chairs, in red. (because you couldn’t tell) As I watched my boys and the ensuing wrestling match I thought about how funny it was that I was allowing it, encouraging it and had to photograph it. Then I saw a recent PB kids catalog on the counter and had to thumb through it. As you can see CLEARLY my boys are using the chairs INCORRECTLY.
above: Calm peaceful, three kids all independently playing in close proximity, YA RIGHT. They’d be all up in each others business and you know it.
below: Half naked kids, upside down chairs used as wrestling matts, messy hair, darts on the floor from an earlier war, a pair of shoes that never got put away and a grocery bag from Christmas shopping.
Just in case you forgot, oh and LOOK there are five kids in this photo even closer together and there’s no chalk stealing, scribbling all over each others drawings, chalk being used as a projectile. There are 2 kids reading but NO books thrown all over the floor. GASP, does one of the boys have his feet up on a chair! Say it ain’t so. That boy is headed for trouble! 😉
And although this next set’s focus it totally off, you can still pick up some of the expressions on the kids faces. Doesn’t it look like Lucas wants to kill Eli? Oh, and I promise, Lucas IS wearing chonies under his very fashionable wife beater.
No children were harmed in the making of this post, because they were just being kids.