“One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.” ~ Bridgette Nicole
As the guests were preparing to leave yesterday’s baby shower I found Grier Whitehouse at the remains of the cake. I bent down to meet his eyes and asked if he remembered me. He confessed that he did not. I told him my name. He repeated it back to me perfectly. Believe it or not, children are much more accurate in pronouncing ‘Kopana’ than 95% of adults. The latter always try to make it sound much more exotic ‘Ko-pah-nuh‘ than it really is: ‘Ko-pan-uh.’ I explained to Grier that I’d been photographing him since he was born, since before he was his baby sister’s age now (she turned two just six days prior). He seemed very interested in this point, and I think he did eventually recognize me, but it took a minute because, for once, I did not approach him with a camera in my hand. I honestly think he didn’t recognize me without it. In any case, we shared the sweetest conversation beside the shower cake.
Grier returned to sniffing (yes, sniffing) the cake remains and I moved on. Five minutes hadn’t passed before I felt a gentle tap on my thigh. I looked down to find Grier staring up at me, and once he was sure I saw him, he very gently said, “Did you know that you are a photographer?” I had not used the word ‘photographer’ in our earlier conversation. In fact, I didn’t even use the word photograph. I said, “I’ve been taking pictures of you since you were born.” Even more impressive than correctly using the word ‘photographer’ was Grier’s utterly perfect pronunciation of the word. He said it slowly, with just the slightest hint of sounding out each syllable in that way children are taught to do. Except Grier transformed the syllables into a full-fledged word as we do when the sounding-out becomes so immediate that we begin to speak fluidly. It was yet another incredible moment I’ve had with Grier. I replied, “That’s right, I am. Can I take your picture?” He agreed, and the photo below was the result.
As is the case with most children, he wanted to see the resulting image, and when I showed him the display on the back of the camera he started swiping it like a phone. Boy, how times have changed. When I was a kid you didn’t dream of asking to see the photograph immediately because it was physically impossible. You still had to send the film away for processing and you were lucky to see the pictures in two weeks. There was something so magical about that anticipation. But for kids today that anticipation is short lived. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a different set of circumstances. His mom, Cassie, happened upon us as we were reviewing his images. He seemed quite pleased with them, as did she, so I took the opportunity to photograph them together. Call me crazy but that top photo is suitable for framing. What a delight Cassie and Grier are to me. Always have been, always will be.