children

The Baby Birds Have Flown.... We Are Left With an Empty Nest

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Well, this blog post has nothing to do with business OR photography for that matter. This one is more of a personal post.

I have done a lot of thinking and contemplating over the last few months as the day drew nearer.

Now I have heard the words thrown around countless times by various people and have heard many talk about it but until it comes your time as a parent, the words “Empty Nester” don’t really register in your mind or thought process. Well, on August 31st that day arrived for my wife and I. Let me tell you, it’s one of the weirdest feelings ever. Especially when you are so used to having 2 kids around, playing, fighting, arguing and just general noise makers. Both of our girls have now flown the next, the oldest one about a year ago and our youngest just last month.

One lives 2 hours west of us and the other lives 3 hours east of us. Could they be any further apart? Of course they had to go in opposite directions, lol As parents I think we all have moments of excitement as our children get into their mid- to late teens and we think about finally having the house to ourselves. But as that day begins to draw near, reality and dread kind of sets in and your realize….wait a minute, these little humans you have spent your life, teaching, nurturing and raising aren’t going to be here anymore. They aren’t going to “need” or depend on you anymore or at least not as much.

Now I know they never stop being your kids, no matter how old they get but it’s not the same, you cannot protect them in the same you could, when they were living under your roof. I guess at some point you just have to let go and let them move onto that next chapter of “their” lives and venture out into that big world, just as we did at their age. It’s a very very odd feeling to not have them here in the house when you come home from your day or to see them come in through the door after an evening out with their friends or after their shift from work, whatever the case might be.

It certainly is going to take some getting used to that’s for sure! They never stop being your children. They are just a bigger/older version of that. I guess we have to look at as not only a new chapter in their lives but also a new chapter in our lives. Now is our time. With more available time my wife and I can finally focus on the things we have always wanted to do and experience together.

Time to start enjoying each other and living more grand!!!!

Body and Self Image - A Very Serious Issue

What do you see when you look at YOURSELF in the mirror? Do you see beauty? Do you like what you see? Or do you see FAT, UGLY…DIRTY?

We all deal with self and body image concerns but that seed of self-doubt and negativity had to be planted at some time in our lives and sometimes these things take a bit of time to emerge. This isn’t even isolated to adults and is happening with our children more and more.

We need to deal with this incredibly serious matter early on, nip it in the bud! It’s imperative we start with our children and youth. There are many contributing factors and I don’t think it can be attributed to just one. Bullying, lack of parenting, mentorship at school and responsibility in the media are most likely at the root of this controversy.

We all live in a day and age where we are literally and constantly bombarded with imagery, sound bites, texts, tweets and information, or in a lot of cases misinformation, every minute of every day. It is next to impossible to filter out all this noise. All of this information is accessible with such ease and speed that was never possible before.

I am not here to blame anybody for what seems to have become a pandemic in society, rather offer some suggestion as to how we can all pitch in and do our part to confront the problem as a collective so we can at least begin to unravel this quandary. We need to educate our kids at home! We need to talk to them! Let them know it’s not the norm to look like these super skinny models they see on TV, in magazines and on the web. Dads tell your daughters that you like curves on a woman! Moms tell your daughters what you like about yourself! It’s not easy but we have to ask what kind of example are we setting? Are we pushing what we want our body image to be on our children? We spend so much time teaching our children manners and how to share but did we forget to teach our children to love themselves!? Do you make comments about people when you see them on TV or in the street?

It is perfectly alright to look different, to be different. Learn to love yourself for who and the way YOU are! We need to stop hurting other people, whether it be physically or verbally! It is not ok and will not and should not be tolerated under any circumstance. Teach them there will be consequences for their actions. Words can do more damage than the physical can.

This problem is not going to disappear over-night nor will it fix itself or go away all on its own. I truly believe we can make a noticeable difference. After all, the children and youth of today are the future of our world tomorrow. What do you want your children’s tomorrow to be like?

 

Signed,

A concerned parent.

 

Image courtesy of teenagebodyimageandselfesteem.weebly.com