It’s a pretty perfect day, I gotta be honest. After a loooong, rainy April in a spring characterized by the Covid-19 quarantine and stay-at-home orders across the land, May has come in exactly how I prayed it would. I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop, windows wide open with my sheer curtains billowing in the breeze. My children are outside, swinging on the swings, belting their favorite songs out to the sky in a trio of voices and it’s all so beautiful to me…just a perfect day.
This perfect day followed the perfect weekend. In the past – pre Covid times – I would’ve driven my family crazy on this glorious weekend. We would’ve been off on a road trip, searching for a fun destination. At least one child would’ve been moaning, “Why do I have to come??” and one or more others would be complaining about hunger and/or asking how much longer. Tired husband, who works so hard during the week, would be going along gamely but his preference clearly would’ve been to stay home and relax. And at the end of the day, most likely all we’d have to show for our time and effort would be miles logged on the odometer, charges racked up on the card and exhaustion from the questionably fun outing. This all in response to my desire to “make memories”. Ahhh, I’ve spent so much time in search of those elusive memories.
Do you know what this Quarantine has taught me? Memories don’t need to have miles and expenses racked up in order to occur. Memories don’t have to be the sacrifice of downtime or the wheedling of parent to child – “You HAVE to come because you’re TEN.” Memories can be the result of spur-of-the-moment picnics on the driveway. Memories can come from grandfather and father guiding grandson/son in home maintenance and pride in caring for belongings and property. Memories can be a perfect day of husband baking flourless cookies for wife because wife hasn’t been able to find flour after countless weekly trips to the Covid-scavenged grocery store. None of these things could have occurred this past (beautiful) weekend if not for this novel coronavirus that has swept our nation and the world. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the reminder that memories can be made in the most unremarkable of circumstances. Our children aren’t going to remember that there was fear and uncertainty during this time…they’re going to remember the bike rides through our neighborhood’s honey-suckle scented air. They’re going to remember checking in on the momma robin who is busily laying beautiful blue eggs in her carefully-built flower box nest. They’re going to remember soaring through the clouds on their swings, screaming the Aladdin theme song at the top of their lungs. And isn’t that, after all, what childhood should be all about? The perfect day, over and over, without a care in the world?
With all that said, this family is a great example of building memories and recording them to pass down over the years. I met this beautiful family when Tori reached out about newborn photos for Joey, two-plus years ago. I saw them again this past fall for a family session on my driveway, starring the sweet baby bump that was to be gorgeous baby Mia. I then had the privilege of documenting Mia’s Fresh 48 hospital session and, shortly after, her newborn studio photos. And if that all wasn’t enough to bring my photographer heart joy (you have to understand just how precious this family is)…I saw them again for Mommy and Me Cherry Blossom photos before the world shut down and Covid-19 became everyone’s reality. Any one of these days might’ve been the perfect day for Tori – celebrating the anticipation of new life on a gorgeous fall day, meeting her beautiful baby girl in the cold of winter, basking in the joy of mothering these two adorable kiddos on a burgeoning spring day – or, more likely a mix of joy and exhaustion (let’s be real, isn’t that what motherhood *actually* consists of???). But even if perfection remains elusive, memories were made and will continue to be made, regardless of whether it’s during a mandated “Day of Fun” in the car in search of the next destination or whether it happens in the driveway amidst swirling spring petals, barking dogs and driveway-chalked hopscotch outlines ❤️
Oh what fun it was to go through these memories of the last year with the Kanellis family ❤️I’m so grateful to you, Mark and Tori, for sharing your wonderful family with me.
Liz Viernes Photography is based near Bethesda, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.