I have small clients who come and see me for 2, 3, 4 or more years before getting a sibling.
In that time I see them every few months and watch them grow from being a bundle snuggled into the crook of my arm, to fully wrapped around me in bear hug as I swing them around as fast as I can.
They know when they see me the rules don't apply.
I will let them jump on furniture.
I want their clothes not to match.
I give them their first cookies and show them how Oreos twist apart.
My heart often grows three sizes as they leave the studio and ask if it is ok to call me Auntie Pizza just as my nieces do.
That being said I often feel bad when the new sibling comes along.
I have already developed a special way of being with their older sibling and fallen in love.
How on Earth can this new sibling possibly be as much fun, huggable, pinch-able and love me as much as the other?
I am not their Mother. I can play favorites.
That being said the only thing Kristine asked for from her session was to get one family photo and one "school" looking picture of the girls.
"That's what my brother calls it, when it's just a picture of each of them. Like one you get from school and your mom puts in a frame on the wall lol. "
Not asking for much right.
Well her daughter Debbie is 2 and has my heart.
You may remember her from the painting shenanigans during her Mother's Belly Bump Session.
That is a tough age for photos usually but for some reason Debbie thinks I'm funny. Pretty sure it's the hair.
Mom, Dad, Debbie and the new bundle Dottie come into see me.
She's got the chubby thighs and cheeks. I might be able to love this one as much as her sister.
I get the family shot. I get the "school" shots.
They are chilling so I decide to put Dottie on the bean bag and do a little dramatic side lighting for a profile shot.
As I am about to take the shot Debbie walks into the room, leans over and kisses her new sister on the nose.
Not planned! Not coerced!
But the real kicker is just as she is kissing her sister's nose Dottie reaches up and starts stroking her sister's cheek.
It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
My eyes are actually welling up all over again as I type this.
As a mother those are the moments you live for.
I have no doubt in my mind that Dottie will get her first Oreo from me.
That she will also want to call me Auntie Pizza.
That she will have just as big of a piece of my heart as her sister.
How do I know? She left the studio with it my heart already.