Images of Family Love

Mommies are like magnets. I notice this whenever I’m at church and I see children grabbing onto their mother’s arms, playing with their hair or looking up at them for a reaction. This morning at church, two boys wrapped their arms around their mom and hugged her for a minute or two. The mom kissed the boys’ head and murmured something to them, making them smile. There’s nothing quite like a mother-child relationship.

Last week, a man and woman (seemingly a mom and dad) sitting a few pews in front of me caught my eye. They were holding hands as their children latched onto their parents and rested their heads on their arms.

I wish I had a picture of the embrace, but memory will have to suffice. Images can help remind us, though, of moments we’d like to see more of in our daily travels. Hanging on my wall above my desk is a picture of a mother and daughter — Tina Fey and her little baby girl. The girl is sitting at a desk chair, looking as though she is typing, as her mom, Tina, sits underneath the desk, looking stumped. I’d look that way, too, if I were sitting underneath a desk that looks as though it might collapse from all the weight of the papers on top of it. The floor is covered with even more papers than the desk. Post-it notes line the walls. The messiness adds character.

Images of Fey and her daughter and the mothers and children I mentioned from church are important to preserve in memory or in photographs. They can remind us that even in a world of chaos, where broken families struggle to survive without scars, family love does still exist and, in many cases, is still strong.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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