Little Boys and their Loveys – Valentine’s Day (Fairfield, CT Family Photographer)

 It’s the week of Valentine’s Day and a time to celebrate all the things we love! Of course on Valentine’s Day we celebrate our love for our friends and family. But what about those “things” we love so much…the ones we can’t live without and can’t be replaced. For many children one of those things is a special lovey.

 Last May, life changed for my five year old (and all of us for that matter!) when his “lovey”, which he called his “night night” went missing. I was certain it would show up. It was not the first time it went missing…not even close. It had been left behind so many times – at the ice cream store, gas station, grocery store, friend’s houses and school – but somehow we always got it back. It was a special gift given to him from his godmother when he was baby. Over the years he became more and more attached to it and it rarely left his side. He found comfort by cuddling his lovey and sucking on his fingers – this is also how he slept at night. I can recall school drop offs where I had to pry it out of his hands while he kicked and screamed!   It was a soft, sweet lovey, light blue with an elephant on the top and his name on it – Jake Tyler.

 There were many tears shed over the days, weeks and months to come. Multiples “replacement” loveys were purchased but were not the same. Neither of my other children had an attachment to something so special so this was new to me. I always said I would try to avoid it for fear of the day that attachment was gone.

 In an effort to find the missing lovey, I wanted to post something on our local facebook group with a picture in case anyone had found it. I went back to my thousands of pictures of my son and could not find one picture of my son with his lovey. It was the thing he loved the most for five years of his life. It went everywhere with us. How could I not have a picture of it? Well, it’s because when I was taking pictures I didn’t see the importance of having his lovey in the pictures. Quite frankly, I thought it might be distracting and take away from the picture. It was a big mistake, one in which I will regret forever.

 Over the summer, the loss of my son’s lovey weighed heavily on my mind. I decided when I did my pre-session consult with my clients I would ask if their child had a special lovey – blanket, stuffed animal, anything special to them. I mentioned to bring it along if they wanted and we would incorporate it into the session. It doesn’t mean it has to be in all the pictures, just a few. I found very quickly that just letting the children know they would get to take a picture with their special lovey instantly gained more cooperation. It also proved to get the most genuine expressions. And, at the end of the day isn’t this what we want to remember of our young children?   We want to remember them at their happiest moments with something they love and find comfort in.

 We all relive memories through pictures. I know years from now, long after the loveys have gone away – packed up in a box, given away, or simply gone missing – our children will look back on a picture and remember how happy that special lovey made them.

  In celebration of Valentine’s Day I wanted to share these pictures with you. And next time you schedule a session don’t hesitate to bring your little “loves” and their loveys with you! And, if you happen to be in Wilton and come across our missing lovey (light blue elephant with Jake Tyler on it) I will happily offer a reward of complimentary photo session!