What would be your idea of a family? I feel very lucky to have had a second chance at building a strong and connected family when we felt broken and ruined and will always, always be grateful for our messy bunch.
I’ll be honest and tell you we don’t always get along, it can be quite tricky at times and those are the moments when we have to really think outside our own feelings and be as compassionate to each other as possible. At the end of the day, we’re all different people, we’ve all come from different places, with different beginnings and we’re all trying to build a life together.
I guess the reason I’m writing this is because at the time when It was just me and the boys, I found it incredibly difficult to feel like a ‘family unit’. Everywhere we’d go I would feel as though something was missing, like we didn’t quite fit the mould and kind of expected someone to point it out. (No one ever did)
It hurt me on the inside that I might not be enough for them. That their everyday would be lacking somehow and I'd miss something important that they might need. Constantly feeling unmade and incomplete lead to a difficult beginning for James and I. Looking back now, and being kind to myself these days, I know I did my best, but it’s always made me notice when others make it work, I’m always bowled over by their strength and determination to just BE.
Family IS what you have.. it can be any mix of who ever you hold close, those that you bring in tightly and care enough about to nurture each other, in the best way you know how.
So there’s something quite pertinent to me about Claudia and Jesse’s shoot. We only had a few hours with Claudia and her son Jesse but their photographs feel so powerful. They are bonded, they have each other and hold on so tight. I’m sure at times it’s hard and messy and really very raw, but they are doing this. And I love that so much.