I am sharing photos my 7 year old son picked. They echo his own view on what makes the images incomplete. You can read my previous post to learn what started this series.
▪️ His view is built on the notion of how the one taking the photos is really missing out on being in the photos. We can all relate to this simple act, as most modern forms of picture snapping is really routed in capturing moments for ourselves. So that we can remember.
▪️The reality is hard when we flip it around and ask a child to share what they see. Because it brings the true meaning of the images we give to our children.
Here are two images from our very first Summer outing in Ottawa as a family. Taken last year, 2017. We decided pizza in the park for dinner was a great way to battle witching hour with a toddler. Plus check out the gardens around Watson’s Mill in Manotick to get some ideas for our future backyard reno.
In Patrick’s words:
🔅 oh I remember the stringy pizza, Mom! it was really cheesy and Katriina had it all over her hands. This picture is missing you, I remember you there but I really don’t remember what you looked like and why you were far away. I can’t remember your clothes or hair but it looks like Katriina is wearing those flower pants she wanted on all the time. I guess ... My guess is you looked like you did today! In the second photo, dad is being silly with us 🙃 I really like how he makes us do climbing challenges. Super cool! I am making my best smile here and climbing too.
▪️How will you remember this photo is a few years? “Mom, I don’t know. I guess I just see Katriina and Dad, I think you need to be in the picture. I won’t remember you took it”
The reality is that I took this photo for myself so I could remember. For the viewers of my family, I wasn’t even there.
▪️Bike riding has become somewhat of an obsession for Patrick. His heart aches for adventure and the discovery of riding with friends is pretty fun. This photo was taken last Spring 2017, the first neighborhood bike ride, this was just at the moment we also told his sister she’s now the proud owner of his old bike. You’ll notice training wheels and the biggest smile on him and the somewhat confused image of his sister
▪️In Patrick’s words:
“I really like my bike and feel proud I can now ride on two wheels. You taught me how to ride on two wheels Mom. (Hugs me with delight) it would be great if you where in this photo. This way I never forget just how much you helped me. This photo would be better with you in it.”
▪️Its sad to write this because I don’t have any photos of him and I on our bikes, let alone teaching him how to bike. For now, it’s just a memory for him and I hope he always remembers.
▪️This photo was yet again one I made for myself. Because I wanted to remember his smile and remind myself of a time he was seeking the adventure to ride a bike. Also looking at Katriina so little beside his old bike showing me just how much Patrick grew. It’s a timeline photo to capture their childhood for me. But the reality is I was a big part of making the biking adventure what it was and yet I am missing from the frame.
▪️ This was an interesting choice as it is a recent image, taken last month during our trip to Quebec. We visited this super small park right beside the hotel pool and the kids loved burning off some energy every night before dinner. We made a fun game out of who could slide the fastest down the slide while escaping the snapper “ Momster” - I would chase them until their bellies ached ☺️😂👌🏻It was a great time for all 💁🏻♀️
▪️In Patrick’s words: “The Park was so small but the slide was fast and bumpy! You tried it too but got stuck (laughing hysterically!) You made a better Momster, Mom! Katriina really liked the double down and she and I liked the game. So fun! Too bad the one photo you asked grandma to take is all blurry :( Maybe we can take it again? Maybe at the park near our house? Then we can have a photo of you at the park.
▪️I am glad he remembers the attempt was made. It wasn’t successful which makes this photo hard to accept and may be the reason he chose it. I know when my roll of film came back from the lab, I giggled at grandma’s photo skills. He noticed it too which makes the whole point a bit more directed that he is actually paying attention to the details. A spark from within that all though he has his sister by his side, the whole time it was the game that made the image happen. Mom is missing ... cause she’s too busy trying to make us smile 😊 that maybe one day they won’t even know how it all came about.
▪️The details of images are more connected than we care to admit. How they are viewed by our children matter. My hope is that we begin to have a conversation around what we choose to share with our children in the years to come. To give them a bigger picture around what life looked like in their childhood. Because there is no single adult I’ve ever met that wasn’t curious about their roots and wanting more photos of themselves with their parents by their side.
Last Summer 2017 we did an overhaul and splurged on making a big girl room for Katriina. Although she was only 2 year old at that time, she was more than ready to be in a solo bed. With all the signs in place, I began planning. I found some great pieces at IKEA but didn’t really like the colour options. Solution, paint them! This photo show how much she loved the process and was by my side daily working on making her room come to life. I really didn’t think much of the process but my husband quickly reminded me how this was it, no more cribs and all the baby labeled items. So he nudged me to take my camera out. Guess what I took images of everyone working on her room but myself.... so when Patrick point to this image ....
▪️"Mom, that was a ton of work. I don’t remember much about what was there before. But I like this photo because all the work was for Katriina and she even wanted to help. But I don’t like that you did all the work and you are maybe the shadow in that corner? So if you need me to take your photo, you can just ask!”
▪️ The images he looked from this set where of her bedroom only. Details of everyone but me painting, because these photos where made so I could remember. I completely missed that I was part of the transformation. I am sure one day Katriina will look at this photo and wonder what is happening other that she is little and skilled at painting at a young age. While I am longing for her to know just how much I loved and enjoyed putting a bedroom for her and she by my side. I have no proof to share with her in the future just my words and probably a long text on the back of the photo
▪️I have some big takeaways from the conversations I’ve had with Patrick about images and will Blog a larger article next week while also sobbing about how quickly the school year began.
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