Our family celebrates small victories like when we made it through a shopping trip at Target. Or the time we stayed for an entire church service on Christmas Eve. Then there was the time we flew on a plane and Sydney didn’t yell, “We’re all gonna die!”
Baby steps and small victories that’s what we celebrate. You can imagine how we felt eight years ago when we had our first family pictures taken. Harrison was 8 and Sydney was 6 and my marriage was in turmoil, but I was determined to get these pictures taken.
We met an amazing special needs photographer, Stephanie, who was providing sessions for families like ours. I didn’t know if Syd would smile, kick or scream but the pictures turned out great. She was able to capture a smile that I hadn’t seen from Sydney.
Two years ago I decided that we needed family pictures again. This time things were different. We were now living in Delaware and I was divorced. We were blessed to find Carley, who would capture images of my children that bring me so much joy. She also captured my headshot for my first book.
This past year was our best year surviving autism and I thought family pictures would be perfect again. Carley was ready to help us. I planned on casual pictures but at the last minute I had to search Pinterest for matching outfits.
The day of the pictures I thought we would kill each other. No one was getting ready, Sydney’s hair needed straightening and that could take hours and I couldn’t find my spanx! It was five o’clock somewhere and I was out of wine. So the tequila left over from the Christmas party would have to do it.
I wasn’t sure if we would pull it together in time, but we did. We forgot about Harrison not having a belt and the fact that he was wearing his Nike socks. Sydney had on fifty shades of pink lipstick and was determined to bring Lamby to the photo shoot.
Once we starting taking pictures, Harrison and Sydney were laughing and Sydney played I’m Coming Out on my iPhone for mood music.
I was feeling great that my kids and I were making memories that day. It wasn’t the shot of tequila that had me happy either. We are a family of three and for the first time in a long time we felt complete.