2 kids, a flooded kitchen and being present

by Mary Jane

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It’s been almost 2 months now and I think Piper has come to the realization that Paxton is not just visiting for a really long sleep over. He is here to stay. But, I am happy to say that she really, really likes him most of the time. She thoroughly enjoys putting a pacifier in his mouth if he makes even a little whimper. We are still working on doing it gently, but this girl does everything with GUSTO – so it’s tough. You should have seen her dying Easter eggs…I’m just glad they were hard-boiled.

A friend of mine really nailed it on the head when she said, “Two kids is a game changer.” I couldn’t agree more. A game changer. Yes, indeed.

We have slowly started to get a little sanity into our nighttime routine. It’s certainly not perfect – but it’s working, for now. Piper gets into the bath at 7 p.m. and is in bed around 8 p.m. and then right after we get Paxton in the bath and he is in bed by 9 p.m. And we’re in bed at 9:03 p.m. or shortly there after.

A few nights ago, I was filling Paxton’s whale tale tub, which is an infant tub that sits on our kitchen counter. It’s the same tub Piper used and it’s crazy how big he is looking in there already.

I stood at the counter and felt the perfectly warm water run over my hand and into the tub. I was secretly patting myself on the back for finding the PEEEERFECT temperature. Mark and I have a little “unspoken” competition going to see who can draw the most perfect bath water. I always think his is a little cold and he always thinks mine is a little hot – but we let Paxton’s facial expression be the judge as we slide him into the water. I was sure he was going to be grinning ear to ear with this one.

As I stood there running the water, I’m not sure where my mind went – but it went – far, far away. Maybe it was already tucked into bed or floating aimlessly through the long “to do” list that sat on my desk. But, I still remember thinking that it was taking FOREVER to fill up this tub! And I was slightly annoyed that my PEEERFECT temperature was now starting to cool because this was taking so long.

I also remember feeling like my feet were getting wet, but that didn’t stop me, I just kept filling that tub. With the perfect temperature water.

When I finally came to, I looked down at the huge puddle of water on the floor. Yes, my feet WERE wet. Go figure.

How long had I been standing there – 2 minutes? 3 minutes? 5 minutes?!?!?! How long had I been trying to fill a tub that didn’t have the plug in it?

The water had run all over the counter, slipped down into the drawers and flooded them and it was of course all over the floor. And the tub was only half way full.

Mark looked at me with pure amazement as he ran to get towels and began taking out all of the flooded drawers. I stood there almost unable to move and in complete awe of what had just happened. I think the only good thing that comes out on this incident is that we found a couple of moldy parts underneath, on the floor, and we called up Mold Solutions services right away.

And I knew at that moment that I need to work on being more present.

In everything.

In my life, in my relationships and in my work.

I think being present is so important in photography, as well as filling an infant tub. Being present is something so simple, but actually takes a lot of work and practice, especially for me. So often my mind is in over-drive – thinking about all of the things that I have to do, that it’s not really focused on the subject at hand.

Now, I’m starting to realize – if I’m not present, I may miss something great. And it may be right before my eyes – but I won’t see it.

In photography, it’s so much about being in the moment, being present. It’s about freezing a specific moment in time – but if you miss that moment because you’re thinking about your grocery list – what a shame.

Whether you’re photographing your own kids or clients – what do you do to clear your mind before you photograph?


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