The Magic Wand I Wield

As often as I meet a mama who’s absolutely overwhelmed, frustrated, and at her wit’s end with her child and the particular phase he’s in, I meet another who’s just so smitten with how sweet and perfect things are right no (ok maybe not QUITE as often, but it does happen, I swear).


I myself have these feelings, fleeting as they may be. Will these kids ever be this cute again? I ask a friend over a beer, as our children are covering their naked bodies in chalk in the back yard. I wish they’d just stop growing for a while, I confide in my husband after we put them to bed and my daughter covers my face in tiny kisses and tells me she loves me SO MUCH about 400 times.

So as a parent, I get it. As a photographer, I get it even more. I’m lucky to photograph a handful of families annually (a few even multiple times per year), and every time I compare photos from a prior photo day to a current one, the changes blow me away. Not just the physical ones. The way the little personalities develop. The habits change. The independence grows stronger.

austin documentary family photographer

And thinking back across my own childrens’ lives so far, I hazily remember special time periods when things were just SO sweet that I just couldn’t get enough.

Jessi approached me during one such phase. As young mom to Rhys, a toddler of epic cuteness, she wanted to bottle up the right now so she could always remember what the world felt and looked like when Rhys was pint-sized and they were a sweet little family of three.

austin documentary family photographer

Rhys loves trains, smoothies, and playing at the park. He’s all smiles, giggles, and cuddles, and his independent streak is just starting to emerge.

On  weekdays, it’s just him and Jessi – each other’s constant companions. Daddy is a superhero, and you can tell by how the little boy’s face lights up when Lewis walks in.

Soon, life will be different – Rhys will have a sibling come fall, and he’ll bear the big responsibility of big brother while Jessi and Lewis learn to navigate the waters of Life With Two.

But rather than getting carried away by the current of future-dreaming, Jessi decided to spend a day truly celebrating the special magic that was happening in their home this spring. No waiting until baby, no waiting until it’s hot out, no waiting until the garden’s blooming.

austin documentary family photographer

Because Jessi knew. While you’re busy waiting for the future to hurry up and arrive, you risk missing out on the beauty and magic that’s right before you in this very moment.