As a professional photographer, Ashley Fitz takes a lot of pictures of babies. So, when her 4-year-old son Jynsen came to her with a special request — a photo shoot with his baby doll — the Indiana mom was happy to oblige.
"This evening as I was editing, my youngest son informed me that his baby girl, named Three, has not had her pictures taken," Fitz shared on Facebook. "I warned him that Three was slightly too old to get all of the curly newborn poses. He wanted to give it a go anyway."
In the adorable photos, Jynsen beams with pride as he holds "Three" in her white gauze swaddle wrap and bow headband. The sweet images have been shared more than 30,000 times on Facebook, with thousands commenting on the cuteness.
But Fitz said her son's love for Three has an extra special origin.
"My husband is military and when he deploys, I like to take our boys to Walmart to get them something special to brighten their day or make them feel a bit better," Fitz told TODAY Parents. "As we were looking at the boy toys this last deployment, Jynsen wandered over to the doll section. He told me he wanted a baby doll and pointed to Three — he even picked out a stroller and some bottles for her. He became pretty attached to Three for quite some time while my husband was gone."
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Fitz, who has two other sons, ages 9 and 6, said that since her husband has returned from his deployment, Three has gotten a bit less love.
"He still gets her out to rock her, play with her and push her in a swing from time to time," said Fitz. "He has even tried to breastfeed her — that he learned from his mommy."
Fitz said that while most comments on the sweet photo shoot have been supportive, she's received a few negative remarks about her son playing with a doll, and with a doll of a different race.
"I always stand up for him and I always will," said Fitz, who owns Ashley Mae Photography. "I am teaching him to love no matter the color. I am teaching him to stand tall when you need to ... there's nothing wrong with him playing with a doll, and one day he will make a very caring and nurturing person and, maybe dad if that's what he chooses to become. But I will leave that up to him."
"Of course, he still loves to play on his dirt bike, play with his two older brothers and run in the dirt," Fitz continued. "He's all boy with a little bit of a nurturing side."