One of the traditions I insist upon every Mother's Day is a photo shoot. I have too few photos of myself with my chlidren (I'm usually the one behind the camera). And I want to remember what we looked like together.
Typcially, we do photos of me and all the kids together. But you know what? It takes like 100 shots or more to get a decent shot of all of us together. And by the time the photo shoot is done, tempers have flared, tears have been shed, and there's just not a happy feeling going on.
So this year, to make for a happier and simpler photo shoot and to emphasize the individual relationships I want to further cultivate with each of my children, we did individual shots.
I love how these pictures turned out. The lighting and photo quality aren't the best since they were taken by various kids using my phone. But there were no tears or temper flares and I love looking at these photos and thinking about the individual relationships I have with each of these fabulous people who I get to call my children.
Ashton was only up for one shot (he's the most unhappy about photo shoots that take more than 5 seconds). But luckly, we got a good one - and he actually agreed to put his arm around me! (Ashton's not exactly a hugger.) Look at this handsome young man. He's passed me up in many ways. There are bumps in the road as we move towards more friendship and mutual respect and figure out who we can and should be to each other as Ashton needs to be more independent in ways that are tough for him and for me. I love how he knows exactly what to do when my computer or phone give me fits and I love that he's always got some interesting video or other tidbit from the Internet to show me or some wonderful new guitar piece to play for me.
Isaac is such a generally happy, confident, helpful, friendly and sweet kid. He's got a stubborn streak and is fiercely committed to what he thinks is right, but generally, he's one fun and easy guy to have around. And his braces are really pulling in those big buck teeth of his!
Isaac's still a hugger. I'm so glad he doesn't feel like he needs to grow out of that. And he's not too cool to call out "I love you" as I drop him off at school. I love that.
Eliza's always up for a photo shoot. And she has great ideas for cute poses.
I love that Eliza and I share so many of the same interests and that she still thinks I'm smart and cool (for the most part). I love her great questions about so many things and the good conversations we have. I love that she likes to tell me about anything and everything and that we can discuss all kinds of things on an ever more fun and meaningful level.
Oliver is such a sweetheart. Every night in his prayers, he says "Thanks that my mommy can be my mommy and bless that I'll always feel like I'm with her even when I'm not."
He's aways got a heart-felt hug for me and makes me feel so needed and loved.
He's so proud and happy when I come volunteer in his classroom. I love seeing the look on his face that says "yep, that's MY mom, and she's pretty awesome."
Whenever I seem stressed or upset, Silas is right there with his arms around my waist, telling me that he loves me. He's so in-tune with my feelings, it's uncanny. He's always singing me the special song he made up for me - "Mom, I love you so so much, I will never stop loving you."
I love his goofy smile and gappy teeth. I love his sweetness and his eagerness to please. I love how he always wants to help me cook and that he's so good at anything in the kitchen.
How blessed I am to bethe mother of such wonderful people. They teach me every day. They love me no matter what. They fill my life with work and wonder and make it meaningful and beautiful in ways I never could have imagined.