the flip side | austin family photographer

As always, there is a flip side.  The daily reminders of time passing watching my toddler and teenager day to day are hard on this momma’s heart.  But there is more.  So, so much more.

I’ll never forget the day we told Ty that I was expecting Taryn.  The smile on his face, one of the biggest I’d ever seen.  ((Second only to the day we stood by a waterfall in Alabama where Jason proposed.))  I’ll never forget how he waited so intently and so well behaved while I was in a long 23+ hour labor with Taryn.  He kept notes in a notebook and gathered details of the day to help tell her birth story.  He was enamored with her from the first moment he learned of her.  I love that.  He is caring and compassionate and protective.  He smiled even bigger when we told him we were expecting Teagan, because he knew what it meant that go around, a new person to love, teach and laugh with.  A new person to be able to depend on and travel this crazy journey with.  I remember sitting in NICU with Teagan the day he was born after we almost lost him and the double doors at the entrance closed after a nurse…I saw Ty’s head poking around the corner, his eyes filled with worry, stalking those doors, waiting to see us.  Anytime something happens to one of the little ones, Ty becomes very focused, very intent and you can feel him soaking it all in and holding his breath until he feels assured they are ok.  He’s invested in them.  He knows love in a new way because of the little ones.  He’s learning patience (lots of it) and compassion and he fully understands just how much work babies and toddlers are.  I’m proud that he’ll grow up with the skills to be a kick butt dad some day.  I don’t mean changing diapers….I’m not sure if he’s ever changed a single one, we wouldn’t ask him to….he’s learning the things that matter, listening, cuddling, reading stories, how to deter the fury of a 2 year old’s fit and roll with the punches Taryn throws at us daily.  Now those are some life skills!  HA!  He loves being the cool older brother.  He loves wrestling with them on the floor, teaching Taryn something new that only big kids do, no matter what it is, being the one that Teagan runs to first for big squeezy hugs when he walks through the door.  When I got pregnant with Taryn, I was prepared to love her as I love Ty, but what I wasn’t prepared for was how much my heart would swell seeing all my children love one another.  I was surprised and overwhelmed with all of the emotions that came with seeing them together.  Seeing them love and laugh and change one another.  While an 8 and 10 year age gap isn’t the norm in our society, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I firmly believe that Ty has a different way of loving them that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the age gap between them.  And it’s a gift I’m so thankful to have been able to give each of them.

2010-05-21T22:55:11-06:00May 21st, 2010|My Family|

break away | austin family photographer

I usually just file the RAW files away in folders after I take photos of my family.  I used to edit most of them within the same month.  And then it got fewer and fewer the busier I got with work, and life, and marriage and motherhood.  I’m a bit sad that I’m at a point that I’m not photographing them nearly as much as I used to.  And very, very few ever receive any love and attention or get shared.  But I’m ok throwing them in a folder labeled “someday when they are grown and I am bored”.  It means I’m spending more time with my family, I’m loving them.  But I have to photograph them.  For them, for me.  No matter how tired I am, I need to, or I know some day I’ll regret it.

And then there are these photos.  Two and a half months old.  I’ve been thinking about the 56 files sitting in a folder almost daily.  Wishing I had the time, the attention, to love the files.  And then I realized tonight, that won’t be any time soon.  So….every night when I’m ready to shut working down for the night (morning?)…I’ll proof at least one, maybe two.  And then in about a month, they will all be done.  So I opened the folder tonight to proof one and this one grabbed me first….

My boys.  I’m sure it is because Jase is holding on tight to Teagan.  Our baby who is growing and changing and flourishing every single day.  Who reminds me of Ty so much it is a bit ere at times.  And Ty, who is turning 13, a teenager, in just a few days, is breaking away from them.  He’s finding himself, figuring things and this world out.  It’s not easy.  There are challenges daily.  It’s so hard to let go and hang on all at the same time.  I’ve always said that the hardest part of the large age gaps in our children is that they are always going in separate directions.  I think I was wrong.  I think the hardest part, at least right now in this moment, is to have a fabulous little 2 year old reminder of what my 13 year old was just a few blinks of the eye ago.  It is bitter sweet.  I love who they both are right now, I truly do, but there are moments when I see them together that its like hitting a motherhood brick wall.  Ty’s toddler days are gone.  Just like that.  There are only small traces of boy lingering now.  He’s breaking away, not all at once, not yet, just a little at a time.  In little ways, that all add up to independence.  This is the hard part, this is the tough road of parenting a teenager in a scary time.  Are we ready?  I ask myself that daily.  And then I look over at Teagan and remember what once was with Ty.  That reality and loss of time stares at me.  Back then I thought I’d always be a stroller pushing, park venturing momma of a little boy.  I knew he’d grow up, but I thought it would go slower.  The silver lining is now I know, just how fast, it really goes.  It changes the mother that I am and I should be thankful for that.  I get to stop and soak them all in a little differently.

2010-05-20T23:28:11-06:00May 20th, 2010|My Family|