For me, as a parent, it’s the not knowing that brings the stress bubbling over the top.

Over the years, I’ve taught my children that if there’s a problem, we can find a solution. If they have questions, we can work at finding the answers.

This pandemic has upended all that.

It’s not just that I don’t have the answers. It’s that no one has the answers to the questions: Will we be back in school in the fall? Will I get my summer job back this year? When will I be able to hang out with my friends again?

We’re a blended family. My wife, Jayme, and I married six years ago and immediately started renovating our home to make room for my daughter and son and her two boys. Despite the extra room, the house has begun to feel small for the six of us over the past two months, even more acutely during April’s dreary weather.

As a family, we try to get outside as much as we can to combat the stress. Working on projects in the backyard, tending to our garden, daily walks and bicycle rides are happening more now than in the past. It’s our way to mitigate the children’s anxiety brought on by remote learning and the angst over not having social interaction with their friends.

Jayme and I know we’re lucky, though. No one in our extended family or friends has been hospitalized with COVID-19 and, in this time of massive unemployment, we both are still working at our jobs.

Photography has been my refuge through times of adversity since I first picked up a camera 40 years ago. In addition to working as a photojournalist, I have filled hard drives of photos of the children as they’ve grown over the years. My camera comes out less frequently as they’ve become older, but that has changed over the past two months. I feel the need to create a record of this pivotal time in their lives. My hope is that years from now, when they look at these images, they will recall the adversity and unknowns of this time and appreciate that they made it through to the other side.

Even without having all the answers.

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