The sacrifices the Anderson family have made in pursuit of a better life and a better future are immense. (For some background context, law students face restrictions on their ability to work in order to ensure prioritized energy on legal schooling, but the collateral consequence is that for the 3+ years of the educational experience, students are unable to bring in an income to adequately cover cost of living.) This means support through these years is not only nice but necessary. The Andersons approach this as a unit, a team. Beginning as a family of two, then three, they have recently become a family of four in the context of a global pandemic, an educational crisis, unprecedented national economic instability, a home renovation, intermittent prolonged absence of Husband and Papa Bear, who is contracted out on international assignments for weeks and sometimes months at a time, the adoption of a new puppy, and now graduation and soon-to-happen bar preparation looming.
Knowing all of these factors were at play, I entered the Anderson home only to find their signature warmth, laughs, jovial faces, and vibrancy. In a space that could be defined by very real, very big, compounding stresses, I found a family blooming. Mama Bear spoke frankly about her situation noting that “by the time I graduate from law school, half of my legal education will have been delivered virtually, online.” She conveyed her disappointment while rocking the newest addition to the family with the signature spark in her eyes. Concurrent with our mini, in-home shoot, Papa Bear was repairing plumbing. This was just another day in their paradise. The Andersons capture the stark reality of multi-faceted complexities alongside a deep sense of endurance fueled by the bonds they all share through thick and thin, together. There is no challenge this crew cannot conquer. There is no sacrifice these parents will not shoulder. There is no silly contortion these beautiful faces have not made.
Mama and Papa Bear, your little loves are both giddy, healthy, and chock-full of personality. You two are models of parenting, spousehood, partnership, and on-going personal discovery all done with a sense of vulnerability and authenticity in a world demanding far too much of you.
Until next time …