Asher and Jackson by my side

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It has been such a crazy week.   Our bed has gone from laying with my hand on Stephie's belly, so full, so alive with kicks and hiccups - to having Asher Stephen Lange sleeping between us as we gaze in delight and wonder.   I think we are in some suspended version of reality.   Feeling but not being able to write.  Looking, but not being able to take pictures.   "NOT BEING ABLE TO TAKE PICTURES," you ask?   I think I have met my match between documenting, and playing that game of trying to remember the feeling of  holding Asher only days old.   From the picture above, it looks like Jackson has taken over the duties anyhow.

Jackson has been examining the situation carefully.   Shaking Asher's hand and saying, "how ya doing baby brother?"   Putting his ear to Asher's head so he could hear the words that don't come out yet.  Smelling his cheeks and yelling, "YUCK!"

I woke up at 4AM Friday night to sucking sounds very near my left ear, as Asher was having a middle of the night snack from Stephie.   Moments later Jackson came into our room, holding his blanket, leaning up to my side of the bed saying, "Daddy, I have a great idea. Let's go to the Montclair Farmer's Market."    I know better than to engage at that time of night.  I took Jackson back into his bed, and he asked for a drink of water.   "Jackson....can't we wait until morning?"      So five minutes later I am laying next to Jackson, listening as he sucks the water from his sippy cup.   Sucking all around.

Five years ago I came to Maplewood, my first time, to shoot kids for HP at one of the local parks.   The kids were all great.  Jackson was not even a dream.  I now live just down the street from the same park.  I bicycled with Jackson to the park on Saturday afternoon.   We were kicking the soccer ball around, when a bunch of boys came over and starting playing so sweetly with  Jackson.   They were rolling the ball to him, and when he kicked it passed them, they would all fall down yelling, "HOME RUN!"   The boys were about 10 or 11 and I was so thrilled watching how comfortable Jackson was playing with them, and how great they were with him.  I then realized....these were the same boys I photographed years ago.   Now older.  Now playing with our Jackson.   Now making him feel like a....like a player.

Then, as always - there is Stephie.   Stephie who drove the whole birth with her breath and once again amazed me to no end becoming a mom.  Stephie who whispers in the middle of the night, "I love our boys so much," after having woken up every two hours to nurse the baby.   Stephie who has brought these two boys into the world and said, "this is our family."

a postscript...before anyone (namely my mother) calls about allowing the baby to sleep in our bed....just know, no one is sleeping except the baby.