Military Village Project – The “Sac” Edition – Okinawa Family Photographer
I took these photos well over a month ago and I kept telling myself that because I was busy with family sessions in February that I didn’t get around to editing them until just this weekend. While yes, I was very busy with family sessions that were scheduled and some that were postponed due to rainy weather, I think I also put it off because it’s getting more difficult thinking of the goodbyes that are coming with all of these kiddos. We have already said “see you later” to one of the little ones from the toddler session and all too soon one or more from each of these photos will be flying off in the not too distant future.
These kids are fortunate to live in our little “gated community” here in Okinawa that is also reminiscent of a 1950’s community as well. All of these kids come in after school (or preschool for 2 of them), drop their backpacks, get a snack and head back out for play time in the cul de sac. Not one mother bats an eye at that or worries that someone is lurking around the corner with bad intentions. We also know that if our child starts acting up that one of the other moms is sure to step in and offer some mothering until they get home! I’ll most certainly miss that as we head back to the states. Once again I’ll be the mother hen needing to watch as they run off to play and worrying until they get home.
All of these girls had the same thing to say about each other – their favorite thing to do together is to spend time with each other. They are just the sweetest girls, always having a smile for everyone that passes by as they’re playing restaurant or practicing cheers together. And of course it’s a fashion show when they’re around – twirling in pretty dresses and always dressed to the nines to play dolls! One of them is moving this summer and I know she will be so missed and there will be lots of questions about why she isn’t there to play anymore.
These fun boys went to preschool together and now started their elementary days together too. I met little L’s mom (mum in her case!) when they would go to my neighbor’s house to play after preschool was over. These 2 guys run all over the place together and are great buddies. And because of that their moms are awesome friends too. Mr. M is moving this summer and I don’t know who will miss each other more – the boys or the mamas.
Mr. M’s brother has an affliction for the opposite sex right now – his good preschool friend M! They have a bit of a love/hate relationship going on and one day they are pummeling each other and the next day they want to marry each other on the spot. What I love is that Miss M can hold her own and most assuredly does not let any boy take advantage of her at any time. I believe last summer I witnessed her man handling another preschooler who tried to get the best of her – guess what?! – they no longer challenged her!
These 3 run around the cul de sac and now make frequent runs to the base convenient store on a regular basis together. They also terrorize and run from the boys of the cul de sac weekly as well! What I love is that one minute they are running from the boys and the next minute they are building forts and traps with the same boys. Ella brought tears to my eyes when we told her we were moving and she started bawling. We asked her why and she said “I just started playing with Mia and now I have to leave her”. Oh talk about a mama’s broken heart for her.
These three silly, amazing and crazy girls?! That’s where I’ll lose it and not only do the ugly cry, but do the full on hiccup cry. Thankfully for their moms they are all leaving together so no one is left behind without the others. They have become extended siblings and part of each others’ families. I know that Ella looks to my friends Chris and Patti as her aunts and squeals whenever I tell her we’re going to see them or she’s going to their house after school. And like siblings they also bicker every once in a while, but mostly they adore each other and love being together. We will all miss our time with each other and I know we’ll go through withdrawals this summer when we aren’t just around the corner from each other.
Oh my goodness this project brings the waterworks, but at the same time I’m so incredibly grateful for this life and these friends that have come into our lives. Certainly makes time away from family much more bearable.