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Wild at Heart Raising Sons Arizona Mother and Family Photographer

Children + Family, Lifestyle

March 10, 2018


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Wild at Heart Raising Sons Arizona Mother and Family Photographer

(As Seen In Minted)

When I first got married I read the book “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge based on a recommendation from my pastor at the time. It was a good choice. I remember really loving the book and understanding more about my male counterpart. I remember loving him more because of it.

Here I am 10 years later raising a son and I’m thinking I should read it again.

Sometimes I question myself as a woman raising a boy to be a man. My base instincts are kind-words, reading, and cuddling! All those things are wonderful for children of either sex, as they need love and affection to grow into secure and healthy adults! But how can I be the best mother to my little wild at heart boy, when to draw lines, what is appropriate and not appropriate for him at certain ages, how do I encourage the wildness of his heart and when is the crazy just crazy? lol.

I think it’s wise to question yourself as a parent. To ask the hard questions. To know your kid and what they need to thrive.

“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”  ― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

This quote stands out to me as I think about raising my son to be a fighter, a warrior, and an adventurer. It’s a hard line to walk in the violence-saturated world we live in. Culturally violence is encouraged at too young of an age.

I ask myself questions like, where to encourage the natural fight and warrior-ness of my son and when to discourage pointless violence.

Until my son turned 5 I was very much on the pacifist side of this argument. I stayed away from ALL things violent. I wouldn’t allow toy guns of any type, “tools not toys I would remind him” no swords, no bombs, no violent play. Until my son was old enough to keep a story straight and not pee in a diaper I wasn’t interested in explaining the nuances of violence verses warrioring and protecting.

Until he could choose kindness and empathy I discouraged fighting and bullying. I have a 0 tolerance policy as hard as it has been to take that stance in our society. This has been much against the grain of culture even amongst my friends, where “boy will be boys,” becomes an excuse for non-parenting, apathy, and needless violence and bullying. Not that this phrasing is always inappropriately but unfortunately it’s frequent.


I have held true to my beliefs and I am proud and glad that I did.

However, now my son is 5 and understands a whole lot more of the world and I have tried my best to base his first instincts on peace and love as the first response. He does choose kindness, we have thoughtful conversations about violence a broken world, and God’s warrior heart for us.

Now we are turning a corner where I have moved forward with allowing the fight in him to come out in appropriate ways. Something else this year I choose to allow was martial arts. My kiddo is now in a year-long bully proof program called tiny warriors. This Krava Maga class is mostly about self-defense, respect, and order! I couldn’t be happier! Please reach out if you live in the Phoenix Area and are also looking for a program. It’s been amazing at building confidence and self-respect. 

I desire to hone my son’s warrior heart, will to fight, and all those good qualities for good, the fight for peace, the fight for justice and the rescuer within him. He is so very much a warrior, it’s in his blood. We discuss things like when violence the answer when it’s unnecessary, is there another way first? Are you prepared to fight against evil and injustice in the world? Now it’s the battle of when and how to expose.


I understand the story of Adam and Eve is based on a marriage scenario but in many ways, it’s simply based on relationships, as a mother raising a son I think this quote can also apply to our relationship.

““Eve is a life giver; she is Adam’s ally. It is to both of them that the charter for adventure is given. It will take both of them to sustain life. And they will both need to fight together.”  ― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul”

Maybe like this:

“Tracy is a life-giver, she is raising Mateo to be an ally someday to another life-giver (he is also a life-giver)  It is to both of them that the charter for adventure is given. It will take both of them to sustain life and grow Mateo into a godly and good man. And they will both need to fight together.” – Tracy Battaglia. lol.

I see my relationship with my child as a give and take, when he shows the ability to grasp a concept, I want to be truthful with him. The day of laying down the law is over the age of discovery is upon us. lol.


As Mateo shows maturity how can I reveal the truths about this world with him, raise a kind, loving, empathetic, peace-loving, wise, warrioring, adventure seeking, wild man. Learning to draw gray lines is now my life. It is not an easy task, but a great challenge and I’m excited for it.

I am not alone.

I am so thankful that I have a husband who is entirely wild at heart in so many beautiful ways. He is here to help me with this journey. He is my warrior and my fighter and my counterpart. I am so lucky. I LOVE that he fights social injustice and never backs down from his beliefs. That is the same today as the day we were married. I fell in love with him because he is a fighter and wild and adventurous. I love that he is here to help me on this adventure of raising a son and that I am not alone in it.

So yes, after all these thoughts I will be reading wild at heart again from the perspective of a mother raising a son.

“Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man.” ― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

Today I have a shoot from one of my Christmas mini’s with my friends Audra & Justin and their three sons.

I know Audra has similar views as I do, and she’s raising three boys! I love to see her day in and out be an amazing mother and raise sons that are kind, brave, and so in tune with others around them. It’s been an honor to call her friend. Their whole family has so quickly become close to ours. we consider every moment we spend with them as joy. I look forward to the years of adventures our boys will have together and we will get to know Audra & Justin as parents and friends.

Enjoy the photos & leave some love in the comments 🙂


OH, and Minted loved this shoot so much they are publishing them in their catalog! That’s pretty neat right? I’m excited to see what they will do. I’ll share when it comes out! 

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I'm Tracy and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our clients, shoots and my own personal life! Stay awhile, leave a comment, or say hi!

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