“This one… it’s one of my favorites,” she said pointing to a the picture of her youngest son laughing in his room. I slipped it out of the stack of photos and placed it with the others we had selected.
She was right. It fit in beautifully with the wall gallery we were designing, and completed the story. Her toddler son’s face was lit up with love and satisfaction as he sat in his room surrounded by his family, toys and a Diaper Genie.
“Wait. There’s a Diaper Genie in the picture,” I thought to myself. “That will need to be edited out.” I made the suggestion, assuming she would jump on the chance to take it out of the photo, like I and many of my other clients would. She shook her head.
“No. I like it. Years from now, when I see it, it will take me back to this place and this time.”
I exhaled. She was right. Removing something that is a part of them is only telling half of the story. I learn something from her every time we talk. The way she looks at her family. The way she feels. The way she expresses herself. It’s all unfiltered. It’s all raw. It’s all truth… her truth.
Her truth fits in so well with mine because I believe that perfection is relative. Every family has their own version of it and for this mom, the more realistic her family pictures, the more perfect they are. And I thank her for the reminder.
. . . . .
Meet the McGilloway Family (again).
Her oldest son symbolizes perfection on a different level. He’s in place where hugging and loving on mom isn’t a priority. She has to tackle him to get her loving in. Of course, she’s okay with this because this is where they are right now.
As I sat on the bedroom floor I listened to the thunder of tiny feet pounding down the hallway. And I thought about all of the mornings I lay in bed cherishing the sound of little feet in my own home. Waking to a blur of red hair shooting past our doorway… a memory that will forever symbolize childhood. And then I saw similar moments happen in the McGilloway home and knew they would cherish them just as much as I do.
In keeping with the relative perfection theme, her daughter routinely kisses the dogs aggressively. This photo also made the wall display. Much to my delight.
Their family room has seen several variations of sofa cushion constructions… but these are never mere pillow forts. These are pillow cities. I have yet to hear anyone suggest they be cleared up for the pictures. Thankfully. Because they are awesome.
As with her love for her children, she doesn’t hide her feelings for her husband. She is an expressive force and her life is a beautiful whirlwind.
Here, in this last photo, I see a mom who is proud and honored to be where she is. Even when one of her babies is sick and the others exhausted, I look at her smile and see her heart. She is alive, happy, and in heaven. This is where she is meant to be. Deep in chaotic love.
Her life is absolute perfection. Diaper Genie included.
P.S. Care to see this family’s Saturday Morning photo session? It’s equally as fabulous.