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a day on the ranch

autobiographical documentary photography, kasey loftin

some days, life gets real. and it feels most real when you let yourself be 100% “in it”. when you let yourself be moved. and then again, some moments just have more gravity than others.

today was a heavy day. it’s gravity was more evident. i woke up to a grey, damp morning. the house was uncomfortably cold because we’re stuck in that limbo where it’s too hot during the day for heat and too cold during the night for air conditioning. i woke up the same way i always do. little man e was just waking up and he was letting me know it. and as i’ve come to expect, he dragged his favorite blanket and his pillow – no case – across our dark, cold house to crawl into bed with me.

blaze and the monster machines. feed the dog. finally feel the covers doing their job. roxy barks. let the dog in. become a burrito again. close your eyes and debate attempting to maintain this balance of half asleep/half awake for as long as possible.

then all of the things with any reference to today start to resurface. and i started praying for a friend. friend is an understatement in so many ways, but in an effort to keep it simple… my friend is one of the best moms i’ve ever known. she is seriously my hero. when i get stuck in the thick of parenting an eager, smart, emotional 3 year old boy, i call her. she’s basically, for all intents and purposes, supermom. but imagine “supermom” as a real person, going through real – ugly, beautiful, challenging, rewarding, complicated, simple – life.

and today she watched her baby be vulnerable.
i know from the second i had my little man e, up until now, i’ve had a tight grip on him. because as a parent, you have to protect them until slowly, but surely, you teach them how to protect themselves. as they get older and bigger and smarter, you have to let go more and more.  you’re basically trusting them in another person’s hands, one pair at a time, until eventually you’re expected to trust them to navigate this world without your guidance at all.

so i prayed for her. it was a hard parenting day. we need to stick together. when your people feel heavy, you feel heavy.

and then i decided that because it’s friday and my little guy has been home all week, we should get out of the house. i would go to starbucks and get a grande flat white and go to the park. i texted a friend. her alternative suggestion was perfect. lazy 5 ranch.

it rained last night so everything was appropriately saturated. it was also calling for rain tonight so the skies were a heavy overcast with short, dramatic breaks of sun.

we piled in my jeep – three adults, two toddlers and a newborn. it was a day to remember.

belly laughs.
squealing.
little toddler feet scrambling to stand on our chests to get a glimpse out of the sunroof at a giraffe.
emu beaks invading our personal space.
alpacas staring us down… six inches from our faces.
mud on our shoes.
smiles on our faces.
cell phone pictures.
a picnic.
slides.
birds of all kinds.
and good friends.

it was overwhelmingly fun. i think we said it 100 times. and i thought it over 100 more. because showing my little man the world is irreplaceable.

so if i have to let go a little bit in exchange for these proud mama bear moments when they thrive and explore with enthusiasm, then i will. the payoff is worth it.

autobiographical documentary photography, kasey loftin

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