Jenn contacted me in early July, to say that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and was wondering if I could squeeze in a family session before her treatment started. Of course we made it happen. And of course, when we did we created magic together. Because when kids are present with their parents, magic happens no matter what is going on behind the scenes.
This is not my first or even second session with a parent diagnosed with a life-altering illness. I hate that it is getting easier. It is such a mixed bag of emotions, both wishing I wasn' t having to do it (in that, I wish the cancer wasn't there in the first place), and feeling so enormously honored by the request. I love that I can do this for people, I feel incredibly lucky to have this job, and I also know it isn't about me. This isn't my story, or my illness, and my job is to observe and document for them. And I love, love, that despite the looming illness and treatments, and all the unknowns of the future, these children of ours are just children, they come as themselves with no worries on their shoulders, and they don't allow us to wallow, because they need us to do our jobs.
These sessions sometimes feel bigger than others, more important, maybe because of the immediate threat, but really none of us know what tomorrow will bring. I know I've said it before, and I know you've all read someone's blog post, Facebook status, that Huffington Post article, or maybe you saw this post by Deb Schwedhelm, and I probably don't need to say it again but I'm going to anyway: put yourself in the pictures. Can't swing it financially? Fine, just hand the camera off. Be documented with your children. Give them something to hold in their hands when they can't hold yours anymore, because whether that day comes next week or in 60 years, it will come.
Stepping down from my pedestal now.