Last New Years, I decided to choose a word for the year. That word was “growth”. Ironically, I found out shortly after New Years that I was growing our sweet little girl. We had a long 10 months of infertility treatments to get pregnant with our now 2 year old, so this was the sweetest, most unexpected news. Last year, I grew. I grew a baby. I grew in my confidence as a photographer. I grew in my personal life. I grew in my work. I grew in ways that can’t be measured.
This year, I chose the word “change”. I have decided to change the way I run my business. Change our finances. Change how much I work vs. how much I’m home. Change how much I photograph my children’s lives. Change my really outdated blog 🙈. I am so moved to change this year. In the spirit of that, I have been updating the prints on our walls to include our whole family of 5. (I’m a terrible mom, and most of our wall photos are just Logan-our twelve year old- and us from before our littlest kids😂) As I was pulling photos from this last year, I realized that I have so many photos of Sam, our two year old, and obviously of Raegan, our 3 month old. I have photos of Logan and Sam together. I have photos of the three of them together. I have photos of Sam and Raegan, and Logan and Raegan. But I don’t have many photos of Logan. Just Logan. See, somewhere in his tween-ness, my soon-to-be thirteen year old is off playing saxophone in the band, and playing flag football, and playing with his friends, and doing his homework, and hanging out in his room, and I just… missed it. I have some photos of his concert, and I have some photos of him playing football. But I forgot to document the majority of his year. You see, after I’ve photographed him making gingerbread houses for the 6th time, I guess I just felt like it wasn’t magical anymore. He isn’t little. He doesn’t push a chair up to look in the fridge. Most of what he does isn’t new or learning a new skill. I felt a huge rush of guilt. I had done what so many people do. I had stopped photographing my (almost) teen.
So today, I put both of the littles down for a nap, I grabbed my camera, and I sat. I sat with Logan in his room while he listened to his records, and drew in his book. I listened to his stories about the MASH games he plays with his cousins, and how much he loves the sound of the pops when he drops the needle on the record, just before the music plays. I watched him lay in his bed and look so big and so little. He told me about his list of places he wants to go, and which records he wants to buy next. I started looking around his room, and I almost commented (for the millionth time) about how cluttered his room is and how he needs to clean it the heck up. But as I looked things all over his shelves and tucked into corners, and hanging from the closet… they’re not just clutter. He had CD’s and vinyl stacked. There’s a picture of his grandparents that he says is his favorite photo in his room. The beads we brought him back from Hawaii when he was 8. Bracelets and pamphlets from trips we’ve taken line his dresser and shelves, and chapsticks are perched everywhere. Football trophies, his Super Bowl rings. School projects from elementary school that he’s still proud of. It hit me that this isn’t clutter. This isn’t just stuff. He has surrounded himself with things that he loves. I mean really really loves.
By the end, we were jumping on the bed and throwing pillows at each other. Logan came up with some really funny ideas on how to display all his money he’s saved recently for our trip to Europe to buy souvenirs 😂 It was so fun. I feel like I got to know him all over again. I thought he would be reluctant to hang out with me, and even more so for me to have my camera. In reality, I think he wanted it as much as I did. and I have to tell you, photographing my t(w)een was just as magical as ever. <3