When was the last time you had your family professionally photographed?
If your kids are little, then maybe it wasn’t that long ago. It seems like family photographs are on that ingrained checklist of things we do when our kids (or at least one of our kids) can still be described as a toddler.
And perhaps it’s still on the list when your youngest child enters kindergarten. There’s a sense that life is really changing; a milestone on order with all those major milestones of the first couple years – first tooth, first word, first steps.
But once all your kids are in school life gets busy in a different way – a way that revolves around the school calendar and whether it’s soccer season or lacrosse season. The daily – and weekly and monthly – grind turns into a complex puzzle of who needs to be driven where when and what dinner can one child eat at 4:30PM before baseball that your other child can eat at 6PM when she’s home from dance. I speak from experience.
Family time takes on a different meaning too.
Instead of finding ways to fill the multitude of hours your toddler is awake – and requiring amusement – you’re trying to carve out a few hours when no one has anything blocked out on the calendar so you can go for a hike or catch a movie or just hang out.
Life is different but family is just as important. Yet those family photographs which securely held a spot on your mental checklist have somehow fell off.
But these are good years. They’re years when you’re getting (slightly) more sleep and things have shifted from worrying about their physical well-being (is their jacket zipped up and are they getting enough vegetables) to their social-emotional well-being (hormones and friend drama and homework).
And, even more so than when they were toddlers, your kids personalities are really shining through.
While it may not be top of mind in this stage of life, now is the perfect time for family photographs. And not just because your kids are becoming – and already are – amazing people in their own right. These years as a family are every bit as photography-worthy as the early ones.
Your kids are wholly and truly perfect just as they are, and worthy of being displayed on your walls. And while displaying family photographs in your home can have a profound effect on their development, self-esteem and sense of belonging, there is another equally important reason.
Do it because you’re their tribe. And them seeing those photographs on your wall day in and day out shows them you’ve got your back and love them unconditionally, no matter what their age or stage. And these times are good, really good, for you and your family.
Amidst all the busy-ness of life, don’t let this be the forgotten age.