The other day, my 4 year old took my phone. He held it carefully for an hour, snapping pictures at every turn. I posed with him for a few, but the subjects and angles were all him.

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All from his vantage point.

All things that matter to him.

All in the exact way that he sees them.

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I’ve been poring over these pictures, held hostage by their sweetness. And it’s made me look at him differently, because I got a glimpse of his heart in a whole new way.

I was given the gift of seeing through his eyes. And because of that lens, my heart’s softened towards all of my kids.

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We’re living with my mom right now, as our house recently re-hit the market and it’s nye to impossible to keep it clean with three kids, two work-from-home parents, and a dog. It’s been a hard couple weeks, a different kind of crazy when you’re all crammed together and routines have fallen to the wayside. But it’s also been a sweet couple weeks, us all crammed together.

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It’s been late nights watching old shows with my mom. Walks to the outdoor mall across the street. It’s been bottles of pop and Chicago mix in the evening. It’s been early mornings and crazy full days and late nights (did I say that already? There’ve been a lot of them.)

And through it all, these kiddos have been amazing. Flexible and sweet. Sleeping together in a big nest on the floor. Helping each other, loving each other, being sweet with each other. There’ve also been ridiculous meltdowns and epic fits, poop in the bathtub, plenty of fast food and dirt-covered clothes. And shoes. And faces. And sheets.

But seeing these pictures brought me to their level. It grounded me, reminding me that my kids are little bitty people with big huge valid feelings. They’ve been troopers (troupers? I don’t know.) through the whole deal.

I want to be more like my kids when I grow up.

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I’m so thankful for these pictures. I’m going to hand Sam the camera more often, because these are a treasure. They gave me a glimpse of life from where my kids stand, teaching me more of how they see the world, and that’s a straight gift because my vantage point sits feet above theirs, making it hard to remember that theirs is different.

I needed the reminder.

Maybe you do too. Today, may we slow ourselves enough to see through the eyes of our kids, increasing our empathy and sensitivity, decreasing our frustration and impatience, giving them and ourselves a priceless gift.

All photos by Sam. 

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