Here, There, Everywhere | Where The Boys Are, A Memory Keeping Revolution

"I will be there and everywhere
Here, there and everywhere"

- The Beatles

Our road is full of twists and turns and straight aways as we work to not only decipher but raise these boys who were once babies who fit in the crux of our arms. No crossroads are the same given that the souls we have been entrusted with are as unique and individual as the stereotypes we are asked to fit them into are generic. 

But as different as our journey is , it is one we are sharing in part. And sometimes the greatest gift is knowing that you are not alone in the joy or the struggle. I love this month's collection of images+words because they are here, there, everywhere and maybe just maybe we are sharing the road with one of you. 

Welcome to our June collaborative post. We hope that sharing our story inspires you to share yours. 

Here we go......

Monica

The letting go has been easier for me than I expected. What’s been so heartbreaking, is watching you struggle with it. - Amy Drucker

Beyond me, you will always have each other.  I know this deep in my heart to be true.  At this age, nothing is hidden; your true feelings are worn around your neck like a brightly colored scarf. You say and show exactly how you feel, completely unconcerned and unaware of others' expectations. In these raw moments of childhood, I see nothing but the kind of love that inspires the world to be a better place. There's nothing more that a mother could ever hope for her children. - Kelly Sutton 

Rockin’ the Vintage! You love this little vintage camera, with a “proper wind on button and everyfink Mum”.  You pestered me for film and this was your first outing with film in your camera! You had a blast photographing the dinosaurs at a local park, and whilst we’re not holding out much hope for the pictures, you had a fantastic time trying Sprout. :) - Nina Callow

I have a tickle in my heart as I pick up my little wanderers at the bus stop. They don’t know, but we are about to head out on an adventure. I love to surprise them. My camera bag sits on the seat beside. “Where are we going Mom?” they clamor from the back seat as I turn south. “Are we going down to the point?” they exclaim. “Can we get ice cream first?”

It was motherhood that brought me to photography. Capturing the everyday memories of white onesies and toddler waddles. As my littles have grown, we have moved outside to bikes and big wheels. Picking up my camera and photographing them has become a way for me to play along with them. Now that they are a bit older, we have begun to explore our coastal town together. I want them to appreciate this beautiful place that they live, and know it as well as the back of their hands.

Sure, our schedules keep us busy. After school activities are a plenty: soccer, swimming, piano. But, I feel it is just as important to play hooky every now and then to our schedule for a bit of adventuring together.  White puffy clouds on a bright blue sky lure us to the shoreline. As we head out past the summer cottages towards the point, I crouch down to capture their reflections in a large tidal pool, a borrowed vintage film camera in hand. “Hold still!” I take another with my iPhone. Walking along a long piece of driftwood, my son cries out and points, “Osprey!” 

At the end of the day, before falling to sleep, my heart is full as I think back on our time together. Looking on my iPhone at a couple of images I took to tide me over until the film comes back from developing, I feel grateful for the adventures that photography take us on together. - Cate Wnek

Summertime has finally come. I remember as a kid we would hit the road on our bikes after lunch and not be home until dinner. We caught crawdads in the creek, we climbed trees...the television was never an option that we wanted, we wanted to explore. 

I relish in the fact that he would also rather play outside than be inside with the mind dumbing boob tube. Your adventurous sole makes my heart happy. I hope this will last for you because I truly believe it will make you whole. This picture, for me, represents the freedom of childhood, like I remember when I was a kid. - Ali Deck

Yep!... Your brother is trying to water our plants and you're here lying on the grass with the hose in your hands. It's funny how you do this to each other...go out and water the plants is the same as go out and get wet...Oh summer, we love you!!!! - Antonieta Esis

Seeing the world through your innocent and enthusiastic eyes brings excitement to my life every single day. - Donya Gjerdingen

You two notice what most pass by. Everything small, large, and in between is a miracle. And even though time will pass and you’ll learn what is conventional- what society proclaims men should be- please always hold a little protected place in your heart for the beauty that is life. - Andrea Moffatt

My friend Amy came over with her oldest Josh to pick up her youngest son. Amy and I sat in the living room to chat, while Josh went over to where my cousin Jonathan was playing on his computer. Within seconds, Josh was on the computer and all the boys were gathered around him, watching.

There they are, all the boys, Daniel, 9; Luke, 9; Zane, 16; Jonathan, 28; and Josh, 15, worshiping the All-Controlling-Gaming-Device. Apparently, playing video games is the best. But the second best thing is watching someone else play video games. Or so I’ve been told. - Linda Barber

“Mom, I’m gonna sell some of my toys that I don’t play with anymore”, you said to me in passing the other day. Without thinking I said okay, not realizing that in just a few minutes I would catch a glimpse of this.

An image that I swear I’ve seen a thousand times…you and your beloved action figures. So familiar and yet so different this time. I’m immediately taken back to when you were constantly in a super hero costume clinging to your characters, coming up with dramatic plots and sound effects. There was a time when they went everywhere with us and you would never dream of letting them go…and now, here you sit with them on the curb…with a for sale sign in your lap. I didn’t know whether to be proud of you for recognizing that these toys never leave the bucket on your shelf anymore or to go curl up in the fetal position at the fact that there really is no more trace of “baby” in my baby anymore. You sat out there longer than I thought you would with not even one person stopping by. I simultaneously felt sorry for you (I mean come on people, how can you not stop at that cuteness?!) and yet was excited to have these toys hang around for a bit longer…even if that means they’re going right back on the shelf! Don’t get me wrong, I want you to continue to grow and change. It’s such an amazing thing to watch and I’m thankful I get a front row seat.

Sometimes however, I just want to go back and slow everything down…so tonight, I’m just gonna stare at this picture and pretend to hear you narrating the storyline with your awesome sound effects and try to guess whose going to save the day. - Juli Jones

This was your first year to play t-ball. You were so excited about it, and couldn't wait for your first game. The day before opening day, you fell off the monkey bars at school and broke your arm. You were much more upset about not being able to play t-ball than you were about anything else. By the time you were cleared to play, it was your team's last regular season game. You were ecstatic to be able to put on your uniform and join your team in playing after helping out as a "bullpen coach" for several other games. - Amanda Caves

Things are changing. Topics you won't talk to me about, secrets you want to keep, activities where I'm irrelevant. 

It hurts. 

For a decade I've been the first in line whenever you needed something and I'm having a really hard time with these changes. My first go at these new territories and I fell flat on my face. Everything I didn't want to do or say I did. I realize that was more about me than you. I'm going to have to get over myself to give you what you need.

Somehow this was easier when your needs were more apparent, more demanding, more physical. I rocked putting my needs aside for those of a demanding newborn because your needs were so obvious but this is so much harder. I don't even know where to start. - Monica McNeill

Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they ever find? - Gandhi

Kayla Maltese

On gaming…

Could also be labeled The Slippery Slope.  Once upon a time I had two little boys.  And we filled their day with wholesome pursuits – books, puzzles, Legos, Veggietales, and sweet little computer games (off the top of my head, there was a Dr. Suess music one, a Sesame Street alphabet one, Math Blasters, and Freddie the Fish, … oh, and a couple Lego Racers).  We were pretty intentional about keeping their world “young” and “innocent”.  And then our third son joined our family.  And much though I’d like to keep his world similarly “young”, the reality is that his brothers are older teens and the movies and games he’s been exposed to at a younger age have been more mature, more violent, more … not “young” and “innocent”.  Which saddens me.  But it is what it is. 

Which brings me to this picture of my Baby and his buddy on a rainy morning playing Halo together.  It used to be that my husband had a firm No-First-Person-Shooter-Game rule.  Halo is definitely that.  I asked him what changed.  He shrugged and replied, “They’re shooting aliens, not people.”  And then he also alluded to some hierarchy of combat missions (acceptable) vs. thugs on streets doing evil things (bad). So, there ya go.  Evolving gaming.  Life with boys. - Susan Keller

There was never anything more special to a girl than a boy that draws a heart just for her. - Janielle Granstaff