I decided that it was time to revisit the family portraits. The photo’s filling my home were from many Christmases past and I decided it was time that we take another shot at them.
Mateo has been very opposed to me taking photos of him lately. Part of it is due to being an 8 year old boy and part of it may be the fact that having Autism makes it very difficult for him. It’s not natural for him to look at faces or a lens pointed at him. It’s difficult for him and I know that. But it doesn’t change the fact that I want his beautiful face up on my walls.
I decided to book a photographer and give it a shot. A friend of mine gave me a recommendation and I really loved the work she had done for her so I booked her for some pictures. I decided it was a much better investment that the horrible school photos that want to charge at least $40 a kid for one horrid shot of them in their uniform.
So we dressed up and met the photographer in a park on a Sunday. It had been a long weekend for us. We had spent Friday night hosting a dinner party for friends which included Mateo’s old ABA Tutors. Mateo’s relationship with these two special people is one that cannot be matched! My house was once again filled with joyous shrieks as they chased each other around the house. The played Minecraft and Mateo dressed as Steve with his huge Cardboard head as he chased his friends through the house yelling that he was going to get that Skeleton, Zombie and Creeper! The pure joy on his face really made me miss the years of ABA spent with some incredible people! Obviously, Mateo will never forget either.
And Saturday we went to a friend’s house and the kids played and made S’Mores and had a great time. Sometimes I forget about Mateo and Autism, he is doing so well and can handle so much that it escapes me that a packed schedule is not the best idea for him. But he seemed fine on Sunday to my relief. We dressed in our clothes for the photos and Mateo asked me, “Where are we going Mom?”
“We are going to a park to take some pictures!” I tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible, yet that doesn’t seem to persuade Mateo anymore.
“I don’t want to do pictures!” he sat at the computer with his brow furrowed, arms crossed in protest.
“But it will be fun! We will be at a park, we are all going to do it. It won’t take long!” I kept trying to convince him. But his brow stayed furrowed and his arms crossed.
I took a deep breath and we got in the car and I hoped for the best. I didn’t even warn the photographer I thought as we drove out to meet her. Mateo is at the age now where if I mention the word Autism in front of him he gets embarrassed and even more stand-offish. So I just let her know that he was apprehensive.
Thankfully she had bribing cookies for him. And before our time was up, he became much more comfortable and laughed at her jokes. But what I love so much of the photos that I have seen so far, is that she really captured everyone. She captured Mateo’s furrows and coy smile. A big fake grin is definitely not him. He looks thoughtful in some and others like he’s about to cause some trouble. Maya looks like the sweet and loving girl that she is, always the protector and care-taker.
I couldn’t be happier with the day! I am very proud of him, and although it was something he was very against, he pushed through and did great. His sister coaxed some great expressions out of him. Always the rock for him to lean on and always there to help him succeed, she is truly my tiny heroine!
Now if I can get myself to actually mail out the Christmas Cards this year, that will be a true Christmas Miracle!