Michelle and I emailed backwards and forwards, working out a date and time to meet. It was five emails in before she mentioned she was a mum of four. More importantly, she wanted me to know she was a mum who really, really needed to be in the photos!
There are people in this world who are kind and open and welcoming, whether you're a friend or a stranger. Michelle and Matthew are those kind of people. They welcomed me into their home as if we were old friends. Conversation and laughter flowed freely. The kids knew I was coming, and they could say my name perfectly. I got the feeling they knew this photo thing was pretty important to mum. My little apprentice, Lucy, was never too far from my side. Giggling and offering up such wonderful conversation that only a three year old can. And that grin. THAT GRIN!
All four of them - so different in their features, with personalities to match. But connected.
Big families are fun. I'm one of four children and the full, loud, colourful, unpredictable noise that comes from a big family is like nothing else. I watched the kids and knew they would grow up to be the best of friends. They made me think of my siblings - days spent in our backyard, on the swings or trampoline, or in the garage playing basketball with the official sized backboard dad had made, painted and bolted to the rafters.
And through the joyful chaos and noise, I saw the connection between Michelle and Matthew. Because only love could create this connection - this atmosphere - this happiness.