17 May Meet: The Sheldons
Aaron and his wife were married several years before even thinking about kids. She worked as a social worker, and he worked for a state pension, but after finding out they were expecting Harrison, the two decided Aaron would stay home. He spent Harrison’s first two years doing what he always wanted to do, being home with his son. After Harrison started preschool at 18 months, Aaron used his passion for photography to photograph real estate during his free mornings.
When business slowed down in the winter months, Aaron started using his photography skills for another purpose, to shoot pictures of his son.
A way to keep occupied turned into something more. When riding a bus, on a normal day, Aaron saw a different look in his son’s eyes. He saw his amazement with something we find so simple and mundane as adults; a bus ride. Harrison, in that moment, was teaching his dad a lesson, a reminder, that all parents need as they trudge through this parenting thing.
“My goal is that these images will remind other moms or dads out there who may be losing their patience in line at the grocery store or coffee shop that our kids aren’t just acting like fools – they are exploring new frontiers. Our job as parents is to act as their mission control and co-pilot to make sure they can explore as much of their new world as possible.”
Aaron knew this could become something bigger for parents, but also for Harrison overcoming his fears of hand dryers and nail clippers. He wanted to photograph his son in different locations, wearing his astronaut suit–showing us all that these truly are little people exploring the world around them and we need to step back and live in these small moments with them.
A Kickstarter campaign began last month to help with travel to some of these locations and with the publishing of their book. With the funds, they plan to head to Washington D.C. to ride the subway (taking pictures, of course!), and even experience a rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Although the campaign doesn’t end until next Monday, they have already surpassed their goal. People are supporting them not only financially, but Aaron keeps hearing of the impact this project has had on families–helping them stop and listen and understand their children at a different level.
“I hope that this book and the prints that are going into it will help be a reminder to busy parents to take a breath and help their little explorer make a new discovery, or explore a little bit more of their world every single day.”
The project, named “Small Steps are Giant Leaps,” will be featured on CNN’s website today, and has recently been published in the Coumbus Dispatch. Look out–this astronaut is making giant leaps for sure.
After speaking with Aaron about this project, I can’t help but reflect on my parenting. I feel like I catch myself getting frustrated or losing my patience with the day-to-day difficulties of being mom. After hearing about Aaron taking a step back to look at those small moments and savoring each adventure, I have promised to do the same. What can you promise to try to be better at?