Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Portraits of Daisy

Daisy was never fond of riding in the car when she was a baby. She'd scream and scream and scream, even if we were just zipping over to pick the boys up from school or taking a quick trip to the store. It just about brought me to my wits' end. I dreaded going anywhere with her. And then one day, when she was 14 or 15 months old, we turned her car seat around to face forwards. I buckled her in. There was silence. And then, as I started to drive, the sound of Daisy's little baby voice going: "Wheeeee! Wheeeee! Wheeee! Wheeee!"

She "wheeee"d all the way to school and back, and she never cried in the car again. 

And that's Daisy. Wants to see what's going on and be a part of things—and then, whatever it is, she LOVES it. She loves helping me cook, loves riding her bike with the big boys, loves dancing and singing with the little girls, loves tending Teddy, loves reading, loves learning. If someone else in the family has an obsession, she wants to join in: "Sebby, was that a 767? That's my favorite plane!" "Look Abe; I think I saw a Tesla Model S!" She's smart and talkative and always ready with an opinion. She's a great little companion who, when just she and I get in the car to go somewhere together, sighs happily: "O-KAY! Now! What shall we TALK about?!" She's also likely to declare, of an evening, that "Mommy, what I really feel like doing, is SNUGGLING." She talks a lot about what she'll do when she's grown and has babies of her own—always including lots of visits to me. I can only hope! Because I hate to think of living for any amount of time without my little Daisy girl.

(See also: Daisy at four)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Portraits of Malachi

Malachi is such a little man. He uses big words and never shies away from asking (or telling) about complicated concepts. He gives you a sly sidelong glance when he says something funny (but keeps a straight face). He raises his eyebrows at you skeptically when he suspects you're pulling his leg. Sometimes I think he's so much older than he is! And yet, he is the silliest of sillies when he wants to be. When you tickle him or when you tell him a joke, he erupts in guffaws that often totally incapacitate him. He will literally fall over laughing. 

When I was taking his pictures, I asked him to tell me about how the heart and circulation work (we're learning about it in school). He gave me a detailed and accurate summary of both the pulmonary and the systemic loops, interspersed with TOTAL SILLINESS like "and then the GERMS come in saying 'hee hee hee'!" What am I going to DO with this boy? Just hug him, I guess.

(See also: Malachi at four, Malachi at three.)
And then the school bus went by…

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Portraits of Abe

I had always heard it was hard to get good photos of older kids, and I assumed it was because they just got less cute as they got older! Quite the contrary. They are quite as darling as ever (at least I think so) but the trouble is they become aware of you, and of themselves. And, I suppose, they have better things to do than let you follow them around adoring their every expression. It's okay. I understand. But every once in awhile I impose on the big kids, anyway. I can't bear not to have a record of Abe just as he is now: his wry smile; his amused raised eyebrows; his scrutinizing glare. Abe has an unguarded and dazzling smile when he wants to, and he's as obliging as any 13-year-old could be, but when I say, "Just pretend I don't have the camera, and talk to me!" he wrinkles up his nose and says, "But I know you DO have the camera!" Still, he tells me about his favorite Ferraris and what he's going to buy when he's a millionaire.

Considerate. Handsome. Funny. Dependable. Interesting. That's our Abe.
Two noble profiles

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Portraits of Seb

Sam got me a new camera lens for Valentine's Day and I've been having fun trying to figure out how it works. And then I was looking at this old post and thinking how much I like having these pictures of tiny Sebby-boy in all his expressiveness, and it made me want to take more portrait-style pictures of all the kids. It's odd; when I took those other pictures I thought I would always remember what little 4-year-old Sebby looked like, but now I look at them and he's a little bit of a stranger to me. But there are a few shots where I can see him, the same Seb I have now, and it makes me nostalgic. What will I have left of this 10-year-old Seb in six more years? Well…these pictures, that's what. And this guy, himself? I still like him.

Anyway, think of these pictures as a substitute for a tête-à-tête with Sebastian at age 10. Always a pleasure. (And don't be alarmed, but there are lots more pictures of all the other children still to come!)

You know how it is with kids and pictures, but after we got the mandatory silliness out of the way, I made up some nightmarish airport scenario and asked Seb to tell me how he'd get an airplane landed safely in those conditions. He was happy to oblige, complete with gestures and hypotheticals and caveats and tangents. I love the concentration in his manner when he's explaining something. He gets this very serious almost-scowl on his face and tilts his head a lot and uses his hands. He searches for the precise word he wants and examines your face to make sure you are following. I love it. And I love his furrowed brows and, when it breaks through, his sunny smile.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I haven't the foggiest, Fogg

We've had so much fog—and smog, I guess, or a mix of them, which is hard to coin a word for as "smog" is already a mashup. Perhaps smgog? Sfmog? Anyway, the smog lingers while the fog comes and goes, so there must be something different happening. 
I love the fog and I get excited every time I go outside and feel that damp, misty presence in the air—like someone watching you. I love the way the temple disappears until you get right up next to it, and the way the fog curls and comes around the tree branches like moonbeams. 
I like the fog at night when it makes the streetlights orange and everything feels slightly foreboding. But I might like it even more in the daytime. It's so surprising, and disorienting, to look outside and see all the landscape faded receding into that soft, grey light! I'm always a bit disappointed when the fog lifts and everything reappears and you realize there's nothing magical or mysterious out there, after all.
Fun to play in while it lasts, though. Goldie, of course, was running around a tree and chanting some song.
She was so light she was skimming around on top of the snow without ever breaking through.
Little elephant-bunny!