A Mom and Her Boys!
This is the photographic story of an amazing mom, Geri, with her two sons! One son is in junior high and the other not yet in kindergarten! Getting to witness the bond a family shares is a pretty special part of my job. It was so clear that this family is tight and supportive of each other. Read on for more to find out!
Despite all the years between these brothers, they are close. Did you know that when there are 5 or more years between siblings, each one takes on qualities of being the oldest child or the only child? So, these brothers have some similar personality traits about them. However, in those instances where there are more years than average in between siblings, the older sibling is almost like an extra parent to the younger sibling. The younger one gets to be doted upon in a different way than if his or her older sibling was 4 years older, for example.
I love reading about birth order. It has more influence over who we become than you might guess! A book I read about this is called The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman
Anyway, some of this birth order stuff tells a slice of the story of how these brothers are so close, but of course life brings us together too.
The mama of these boys, Geri, is tough, beautiful, and smart. She is focused on doing everything she can do for her sons. They had fun laughing together during their session and letting the littlest dictate their poses. They nearly had a family meeting during the shoot to talk about the next week's upcoming schedule for work and the disappointment of not being together. In that conversation, I heard honesty and felt their commitment to each other. I can only hope my sons keep being honest with me into junior high just like this.
Being a Team:
I know that this family spends lots of time at sporting events right now and running to practices because the oldest son is athletic and talented. The younger son just loved to run while we were at the farm. I'm sure he has athletics in his future too! The team metaphor seemed perfect for this family who makes a point to communicate and works together for a common goal, each contributing the thing that they're good at. This family is a team for sure! So, they threw their hands into the center of their huddle!
(Geri speaking about her older son)
"I always say that I can’t believe I created Cooper." Geri laughs. "He is GOOD. By good, I mean sooo good: his heart, his drive, his discipline, his brains, his athletic ability. I mean i could go on and on." In a way, we "have grown up together and he is my steady Eddie."
(Geri speaking about her younger son)
"Mateo is my wild, my humor, my center of attention. He has a wit about him way beyond his years and my favorite giggle I’ve ever heard!
Looking at them and knowing they are mine is my drive to always do better. Wake up. Go. Go. Go!
Based on what I know about Geri and her commitment to her boys and seeing the bond they share, I had to know her secrets, her prefects, her family motto. This is what she shared:
"My boys are polite and kind because to me that is number one. Following in a close second is their education." But in addition to those more average parenting goals are these: "I have always been strict about eye contact, empathy, appreciation and communication. I am sad sometimes because I see their generation losing so much human contact in the way we once had to involve ourselves in whether we wanted to or not. We didn’t have cell phones, Snapchat or any social media for that matter. People met us and knew us in person. I try as much as possible to push the in-person moments as a chance to give the best impression as a human being, not handsome or as an athlete but a as a kind in-the-moment human being."
"Being a single mom is tough but hands-down worth it every single exhausting day. Some days I’m better than others, but my motto is THE TRUTH! (age-appropriate of course)"
The truth. The real answer. The non-bubble-of-bullshit (pardon my French) is how I chose to be a mom and a mommy. I never want (my boys) to be afraid to ask me anything or tell me anything." I imagine that one time (they don't share) could be the time they make a life changing decision because they couldn’t talk to me." I want to make myself available to them because I fear that "if they don’t have choices or answers along the way, the minute something we never want to happen comes along -boom - they (might) have no clue what to do." So in my being honest and in expecting honesty from them, I teach communication and navigation skills.
Because we all need to remember the silliness...
When I look back on my own boys being small, I want to remember as much as I can! Of course, I need a ton of help with this because I have a terrible memory! This is great if you ever made me mad, because I won't recall it, but its so sad when I want to hold on to the details of when my four-year-old wrapped his little arms around my neck and gave me a kiss on the cheek just to be kind. So, I love a chance to catch more of the truth of life when I'm photographing children. I was so happy to catch this sparkle-eyed boy making a great silly face!
(and the running!)
As soon as I heard how much this little guy loves to run, I decided we had to do some running photos! I was running right along with him, trying hard to stay a few feet ahead to be able to catch the joyful expression on his face as he felt that breeze as his feet flew! This isn't the average portrait session photo, but it seems to be so full of who this special little boy is!
"I get lost in the hustle at times and question myself. We can always be more patient, cook more, clean more, save more, etc. I always struggle but I also always laugh! We as a family laugh our butts off. We fight. We laugh. We hug. And most importantly, we always communicate and love."
If you'd like to see a sample of my other posts, check out my previous post titled 2017 Bickel Christmas Style. Telling personal stories is an important component of my photographic work!
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