friday night

Mckenna snuggles are very rare. She doesn’t like to be touched. The most we typically get, is a type of haphazard head lean where she might touch her forehead or shoulder to us in her a form of a hug. We take what we can get.

Lately, she has been instigating this above scenario with Jeff. This is how it goes down.

Jeff is working on the computer.

Mckenna comes up and leans her head against his right shoulder.

Keeps leaning until he has to swivel his chair out from under the table and fully recline to accommodate the way she leans and climbs and folds up onto him.

Folds onto his lap and curls up with her head on his chest.

Sometimes they talk, but she likes the silence.

He makes her laugh.

He sits like this with her until she is ready to get up. He would sit like this for hours.

I get jealous (not really) and want her in MY arms. He knows it and being the tease that he is, has to rub it in, just a little bit.

Then she gets up and shuffles off, leaving us wondering why she came to connect. And why she left.

We know that when moments like this arise with Mckenna, we have to stop and give them to her or we miss out.

She helps remind us to live the way we want to live.



(Twitter followers, these are the last images I took with my 5d before the mirror locked up and it stopped working, and I wrote this.)

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  1. wow, this was a reality check. My oldest son wants lots of affection, I often give him the “come on buddy…not right now” look. Why? Because I’m busy, concentrating, not in the mood? Who knows, but your comment “We know that when moments like this arise with Mckenna, we have to stop and give them to her or we miss out.” struck a nerve with me. When moments like this arise with any of our children, we need to stop. Because we will miss out, and someday we will really miss it. Thanks for this Tara, it was what i needed.

  2. hello Tara… i found your blog through Jay Reilly’s blog… i think it was that time that he took photos of your family! i just wanted to stop by and say hello. i love your work and your blog is just beautiful… everything about it is beautiful ! thanks for sharing with us! XOXO

  3. These photos came at the perfect time. February 14th was the 4 year anniversary of my (step)daughter’s death. I immediately thought of her when I saw these photos. Amanda was a nonverbal child with several developmental and physical disabilities. She was the center of my world. One of her favorite things to do was sit on my lap just like that and snuggle while I rocked her. It didn’t matter where I was sitting — I always made sure rock her. When she was upset, I could easily calm her down like this. I miss her head on my chest, her long fingers, the way she would just stare at me. She may have been nonverbal but her smiles and tears said it all.

    Hold on to these memories. Seeing your photos made my memories more vivid than usual and for that I am eternally grateful.


  4. I read this while I happened to be listening to Pink’s “Glitter in the Air”…so there were definitely tears. And THEN I read your Tweet and cried more. Happy, then heart sick, for you. From one photographer to another, I feel your pain and if I lived close I would say, “Come and borrow my 5D.”

  5. that was just beautiful to read. I had a smile on my face the entire time I read your words. I stared at the images and tried to decide which one I liked best – but they are all simply magic. So wonderful that you are the kind of parents/ and people who know how precious these moments are. Mckenna is lucky to have you …and you her. x

  6. so beautiful… just the right thing to do for your bubba…
    love the thoughts and patience that your family has!!!!!!!
    wish i could find that amount of peace in my life!!!!!!!!

  7. Precious. My daughter’s favorite quote is “It’s not the amount of breaths you take… it’s the amount of moments that take your breath away.” You can tell Jeff and McKenna are having one of those breath-taking moments. I think we take so many of those “little” moments for granted. Your post made my day.

  8. That is so precious…

    Our oldest isn’t the most affectionate either…for years if you asked him for a hug, he’d just lean into you, like he would allow you to hug him but he wasn’t going to hug back. Recently, he’s started showing more spontaneous affection – it’s a blessed change. :-)

    Enjoy those times with Ms. Mckenna!

  9. You know, I cried when I read this.
    It resonates within the story with our girl, Belle. She, too, is a soul quite similar to Mckenna. Whenever I get one of those rare unsolicited hugs, I soak it up and hope that if ever the time came to be the end of the world, that it would be when she is giving me one of those hugs so we could stay like that forever.

    I usually have to ask for hugs but they are not the same, are they? And when they say no or shy away it hurts like hell. But when my little mischief comes up to me and hugs me (almost giving me a heart attack from the stealth of her moves), my heart pounds so fast and so loudly I think I might die from it.

    Its a consuming feeling that can only be appreciated by those who don’t receive a daily hug. Thats why its so wonderful when you do get one; it is to be savoured and cherished – be it for one lousy second or ten lovely ones.

  10. tears…quiet memories…my youngest son didnt talk to ‘outsiders’ until he was in the 3rd grade. one day, in class,he just did. Shocked everyone. The teacher called me…the tears in her voice and she described how, in class,he raised his hand to answer a question, answered the question, put his hand down and just sat there like “i’ve spoken now i’m done’…but he was NOT done!he would not SHUT UP after that. After that, even if he started talking at the wrong times, they didnt want to tell him or to be quiet because they didnt want to miss anything…

    sometimes in NOT missing Things we have to slow down and just let things go…

    beautiful words with sweet photo’s…

  11. The beauty of a child’s love is always precious, but some moments, take your breath away and fill your heart with joy and your eyes with tears. This glimpse into your families life, is more than a joy or a moment shared with us, it is a gift to all of us reading it, because it is a reminder to cherish, to accept, to nurture, to enjoy and to love every moment we have with our children.

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