come play with me

by Amy

all he wanted to do was play.  first with a bouncy ball and then just ‘guys’.  he would take a break from saving the world to give me the most handsome smile ever but then quickly throw  himself back into the world of pretend play.  i loved it.  he even let me play.  i was Super Stinger…a bee woman who had super powers to sting.  get it?  i know…rocks right?!

of course, his love of silliness really helped us all out.  we didn’t need to plan these shots…they just happened.  i think, secretly, everyone was a bit excited to have an excuse to act like he did!  so we did.  love having a unique family photo like this, not to mention, the memories that go along with a day like that.

so lisa and i have known each other for a while.  my sis-in-law is our mutual friend but i need you to know, every time i see lisa she opens her arms to me like i am her best friend.  tilting her head a bit to the side as she walks towards me, i feel like she picked ME out of a whole crowd.  almost as if i am the most important person in the room to her.  it is a good feeling.  i can’t imagine what that genuine and sincere love looks like from her boys perspective but i can tell…they cherish it.

her oldest is a graduating senior this year.  he was ridiculously polite and kind to me as we went about our pictures.  of course, we already know where that comes from but still…shouldn’t have been shocked to discover it.  we chatted about silly things like toothy smiles and corny poses as we wandered around his ol’ elementary school taking pictures.  in just the short time that i spent with him, it was very clear he was different.  not odd…just different than most men his age.  i could see he was an extremely hard worker, he was dedicated to whatever he we given and he had big aspirations of where his life might take him.  Not to mention…

he cared immeasurably about his family.  i don’t have teenagers of my own so i can’t say what goes on in a home that does claim one but…i have some experience with a handful of them and i know that it can be a confusing time.  both for parents/teachers/leaders and also for the person going through that bizarre age.  every now and then, you get these moments of clarity through the fog of growing up…and this was one of them.  he didn’t mean to make her cry and he sure didn’t want her make up to smear…but he wanted to show his love for her.  not just a passing moment but in a picture to have forever.  it was so heartfelt and so awesome.  not gonna lie…i was choking back tears too.

‘kd’ didn’t like me at first.  even after a couple persuasive treat feedings she didn’t want me around.  but she wanted dad around.  it was hilarious the connection between these two.  i think dad realized how funny it was as well.  she is part of the family and i am fairly certain that everyone knows their place in the hierarchy!

dad didn’t know what to do with himself.  but you would never know would you.  of course not…lisa had this amazing way of making him laugh!  in most all our “planned” shots his eyes are closed and they may or may not have been rolling behind those lids.  but i didn’t put my camera down strictly because of moments like this.  the inbetween moments where he was sharing his true, handsome smile with us.

they got love.  (it’s so cute too!)

and they played.  all of them participated without hesitation…and they played.  it was so inspiring and lovely!  it was contagious really!  dad was so tall his knees we nearly broke on the downhill swing of this umbrella-like toy and lisa was laughing so hard i think her arms gave out.  the boys stayed on the longest and both seemed proud of the other for making it so long!

a sweet moment was happening behind my back as i was working with mom and dad.  big brother taking care of little man as they discussed all the possibilities in a make-believe world.

thank you guys for allowing me an afternoon with you.  thank you for being so real with me.  actually, thank you for forgetting that i was even taking pictures and just being your natural, awesome selves.  i had been looking forward to that day for SO long and i only pray i did it justice for you!  i look forward to all the upcoming adventures you guys will have.  between changes and college and sports…i hope to keep an eye on all of you.  and, little man?  maybe we can play pretend again…sound good?  sweet.