There is something intoxicating about photographs of Luke cuddling our babies. I could look at them for hours. Perhaps it's that I know how comforting and empowering his embrace can be, housing strength, love and protection all in the space between his arms and their tiny little bodies.
Wisely, these children yearn to be close to him, sometimes descending to such unloving acts as pushing and shoving in order to get the best seat. When he is away, or even if he has a few late nights at work, they start to wilt like cut flowers in need of fresh water. As far as children goes, this can mean becoming either incredibly sensitive or downright cranky. The only antidote is a swift reunion.
Sometimes I wish I could clone myself (I imagine every parent does, but in this instance I mean for reasons other than having someone else make dinner and change diapers) in order to capture similar moments shared with me. I'll be sitting on the bed braiding hair or holding a tiny hand as the blender makes its unsettling racket and I will take a snap shot in my mind. Like many photographer parents, I not only want my children to have beautiful memories of their youth, but to have evidence that I was part of it.
I have experimented with taking my own photograph, but often it feels weird. The idea behind candid or documentary photography, or whatever catch phrase is used for capturing real life, is that it isn't contrived. In theory, we shouldn't move water bottles out of the way to get a clean shot or ask someone to repeat their actions under better light. I'm struggling to decide how balancing a camera on a stack of cookbooks in order to capture a manufactured moment fits into all of that. It's not like this scene hadn't played itself out a thousand times over. It's just that this time, I made sure the camera was there.
I guess we can leave it at this: if you happen to see a photograph with me in the scene, it's likely a set up (this was an exception). Same goes for anything involving clean children sitting nicely and looking like angels. Everything else is as real as it gets.