Monday, May 08, 2006

Scream like you mean it

cult of personality
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
On my father's birthday I gave him this photograph of Annabel, which was taken on the occasion of the first time she ever played dress-up.

The next day he praised the quality of the photograph, but wondered if she had been unhappy when I released the shutter. He thought she might not have been having fun.

As I pondered his question, I wondered if my father was starting to join my mother in her quest to have just one "SNAPSHOT" of her granddaughter. Something unpretentious and off the cuff. Something to prove the child is, in fact, more happy than sad or serious. Translation: A photograph that showed her as a child and not an object.

Long before I had been dubbed "mamarazzi" by my partner in crime, I had taken great pride in the fact that I was an observer first and a photographer second.

I click back through my favorite photographs of our Ittybit, and try to see what I've captured from their points of view. What is real? What is exaggerated? What is contrived?

I have wrestled with this dilemma before; wondering what effects all the marveling at my daughter through the lens of a camera (not to mention editorializing on every move she makes) will have on our relationship later on. I have, on occasion, purposely left the camera at home so that I am forced to be in the actual moment instead of the Kodak one.

As I assure my father that she was indeed having fun under the big floppy hat and feather boa, I am reassuring myself. I know even the smallest of momentary traumas are exaggerated when they are stopped for all time.

What's happening at the other mom's house ...

She's crafty. After plucking 48 dandylions from Lori's yard, swinging in the swing, pretending to fish (catching mostly sharks, which required her to cut her line) and reading stories to Brianna, who was home sick today, Annabel made little girl and boy mice. No word as to names, although I tried calling them Gus and Jacques. ... Lori explained to me the error of my ways: "Usually, Siobhan, we let the kids name the mice."

making mice gus and jacque
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.


Carl said...

Right there with ya, Siobhan. My mother complains and complains, because her ideal family portrait is something from Ramark-Varden or Sears, and why can't I give her something like that? And why are our faces always obscured by sunglasses (because we're always out in the sun, duh). I get it, but this is the price she pays for encouraging me.

janey said...

I loved the gollum girl thing.It's really clever.