Portrait of a Family

Aunt Hannah

A few weeks back (or maybe longer…it all seems to blend together these days), my sister paid a visit to Iowa to finally meet her three nieces in person.  Among her many talents, Hannah is a very accomplished amateur photographer, so Missy and I felt that we’d be fools to pass up this opportunity to have her take some family portraits.

Hannah was in town for a week, but each day of her visit passed without sitting down for the photo sesh.  Time seemed to slip away from us as she got to know the girls…

“…this is Jovie, she likes to eat and has huge cheeks…”

“…this is Sienna…she’s pretty chill…”

“…yeah, Rowan fusses a lot.  It’s not you, it’s her.  But her smiles make it all worth it…”

…and as she spent time away from the farm seeing her Des Moines favorites like the East Village, Tasty Tacos, and the new Sculpture Garden downtown.  So as the day came for Hannah to head home (which way too soon for our liking), we had still not taken our family pictures.  Since she was not leaving until nightfall, this left us with one option:  pack the car, say our goodbyes, and snap the pictures just before she hit the road.

So it was now or never.  Yes, the girls were asleep.  Yes, the girls were due to eat in less than an hour.  But Hannah had a schedule to keep…what other choice did we have?  Looking back, I think we might have been better off letting them sleep.  Or, at the very least, feeding them first.  The girls were less than thrilled to be abruptly woken up early from their nap, put in a strange new outfits, and placed in positions they weren’t used to.  So they made sure we knew that they were unhappy.

There was crying…

…and pacifying…

…and crying…

…and pacifying.

However, in the end, we did manage to get some decent photos.  We had learned our lesson though:  don’t mess with a sleeping baby (unless you have her food in-hand, ready to feed).

Although it was stressful trying to get “the shot”, these pictures now make me laugh.  These are more meaningful to me than pictures with all smiles…these are more real.  There will be plenty more photo-shoots and many more chances for family portraits.

Missy and I deal with a lot of screaming and fussing on a daily basis.  Yet knowing that we, as their parents, can bring them the calm and comfort they are looking for is something that is deeply rewarding, even though we may not always act like it (especially when we’re tired).

I guess that’s what this parenthood thing is all about.

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

4 thoughts on “Portrait of a Family

    • I’m glad you like it! I’ve been meaning to post about it for a while, but…yeah…time got away from me. Love the pictures (natch) and we’d love to see more. Let us know when you get some new ones edited!

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