Friday, December 10, 2010

Family Portraits

When Ryan was 6 months old (which was very conveniently right around Mother’s Day), Herb took him to a professional photographer and had a bunch of fabulous photos taken of him:

A month later, we were all in California for Herb’s daughter’s high school graduation, so we went in and had a whole bunch of family photos taken:

And since he recently turned one year old, we decided we definitely needed to get a set of official one-year photos taken, so the other day we packed him up and did another photo session.

I’m not sure how well-behaved most one-year-olds are at that sort of session, but I must admit I was both impressed and proud at how cooperative Ryan was. Sure, he was interested in the camera and the lighting umbrella and would have preferred to wander around the studio to sitting still and posing, but all in all, he was smiling and cooperative and extremely well-behaved. And the resulting photos prove it:

It’s amazing to me to see how much he’s changed in the last six months. He’s turned from a baby into a big, grown-up toddler right before our eyes. He’s developing his own unique personality and charms. He’s still happy and social and playful and curious, but in a much more mature way. He really is a little boy and not a baby any more. I’m so grateful that we live in an age where photographs and videos are cheap and easily obtainable, so I can be reminded of each different stage as it quickly slips by. When I look at him and find it hard to remember when this independent little boy was still a helpless baby, I can look back at my photo albums and remember those precious moments. I can watch an old video and hear how his baby laugh grew into his big boy laugh. I can watch how his play has developed, how his skills have improved, how he’s changed physically and emotionally and socially and intellectually.

But above and beyond photos of him alone, I love watching how the family photos change over time. The changes in Herb and I aren’t quite as obvious (or as flattering) as the changes in Ryan. We may have gained a few pounds, added a wrinkle or two, and gotten a bit grayer, but we’ve also grown to be an even closer, more affectionate, more bonded family. And every moment that family is together is precious.

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