Backyard Adventure

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We have been dreaming about it forever it seems: a get away for two.  Our tenth wedding anniversary came and went but when your kid has a chronic illness that requires monitoring through the night, we hesitated to ask for help.  For the past two years a photo from our honeymoon sat underneath a magnet on our fridge, beckoning me to try a little harder every time I opened the door to begin packing lunch or preparing dinner.  “Get away, far away” it always seemed to say.

We finally did it and planned a getaway.  Fifteen years of marriage, five days and four nights of vacay, all inclusive, Mexico, not close but also not too far.  And it was amazing, I won’t lie.  Day drinking might be the ultimate luxury because it signifies a complete lack of responsibility.  “I’ll have a salad” turns into “I’ll have the jalapeno poppers with my salad” becomes full blown amnesia regarding salad within 24 hours.  What’s salad?  Is it like tequila?

Turns out, we suck at doing nothing.  We couldn’t hold a cocktail and a book in our hands for more than 10 minutes before one of us suggested a min-adventure.  Should we walk on the beach?  Snorkel?  Check out this or that?  Swim?  I don’t know when it happened but somewhere along our parenthood journey we caught a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out).  When your only child is growing up at warp speed you need to slurp up every minute of his childhood without spilling a drop.  The fear of missing a beat may have corrupted every other aspect of living.

But there’s another way of looking at it.  We learn from the littles as much as they learn from us.  Everything can be fascinating.  Everything can be new.  We should always explore and should never sit still.

I had downloaded these pictures before we left with the intention of cranking out just one more blog post before leaving but in true Mel fashion, I was still up packing at 10pm the night before and grateful to have made it on the plane.  Returning to these photos now with fresh memories of sand, sea turtles and underwater river caverns called “cenotes” I see the explorers in Zoe and Henry.  But they’re not somewhere far or exotic: they’re in the most familiar place in the world right now.

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Clients are often asking me about the best places to take pictures.  They think of gardens and beautiful backdrops, somewhere that feels special because professional pictures are special.   Most are surprised to hear that I come to my clients’ homes more often than not.   For some that sounds perfect.  For others it sounds daunting, boring, too familiar or completely unoriginal.  Its all of those things and more!  Its the backdrop to a childhood, a natural habitat, the place your children love best. To them its never boring, its like the porridge bowl that’s just right on a Goldilocks adventure.

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Wherever we wander, its always home we long for after a spell.  For me it feels good to be back, slightly refreshed.  I’ve had no problem facing the fridge, I have no desire to leave this life.  I missed the smell of my son’s hair, musty and slightly chlorinated from the pool.  It doesn’t always feel like it but adventure is happening every day, even in our own backyards, sometimes we just need the distance to see it.

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