A while back, the Labor & Delivery unit at UNC Hospitals decided to ditch their generic, motel-grade watercolors and inspire their laboring women with some images of the good times ahead. I was fortunate enough to be brought in on the project, and to date have been honored to hang nine maternity and newborn portraits on their walls. Recently, the Family Medicine practice contributed funds to add a tenth portrait, which they requested include siblings. And so I was introduced to Wendy. Wendy and her husband Jason just delivered their third son under the care of Ami Goldstein, a midwife with Family Medicine. When they heard about the project, they were hugely supportive... and willing to go so far as to bring two week-old Jameson along with his four and six year-old brothers Wolfie and Rocco to my house for a quick session last week. In case you haven't experienced it for yourself, leaving the house with a newborn is more difficult than it might seem. Add a couple of older brothers to the mix and you've definitely got your hands full. But for Wendy and Jason, the fun had only begun: it just so happened that when they arrived, I was home alone with my own two boys, who were - ostensibly - napping and busy writing thank-you notes. About .00025 seconds after the doorbell rang, though, both kids were right there with us: Oliver desperate to make friends with the big boys who'd just magically appeared at our house, Judah unusually clingy and ultimately strapped to my back Pocahontas-style. So there I was: attempting to get a portrait of three boys (together!) under the age of seven, one of them a newborn, in thirty minutes or less, all while carrying a toddler and fending off a would-be session-crasher... uphill! Both ways!!! And how did Wendy and Jason react? Like the seasoned parenting professionals they are: propping up the baby, brushing stray crumbs off the older boys' shirts, distracting my kids while bribing, cajoling, & threatening their own... Thanks largely to them, we had our shot in twenty minutes flat, along with a couple of cute outtakes. That was the easiest, hardest, shortest session I've had in ages!
My favorite moment? When Wendy whispered to Rocco that if he cooperated, his picture would be up on the wall at the hospital, and he'd get to be famous... just like Justin Bieber!
Hey buddy... Never say never :D