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.

3 comments:

  1. the thing is, you can't keep them. I used to feel a little grief every day, knowing that yesterday's Ginna who did that cute little thing with her face was now gone - by the fact that the cute little face thing was today gone. Replaced, of course, by some other heart rending charming other thing that was today's Gin. Every day a child lost and a new child discovered. It's odd, mortality - time. Now I have grandchildren, and the children so fresh faced and bright are adults. They don't change every minute the way they used to - they've had their faces stabilized, turned in new directions, moved to Santa Fe. It's a little bewildering sometimes when you get a tiny flash of light-man Cam who was so shy and wouldn't take off his blue ball cap even when he went to bed. Or some other sprite now only a memory, hidden behind the settled bone structure of this face or that. And what's more, the synergy - the sum total of them all together in the same room? That's gone, too - making way for a new and heart-wrenchingly seldom dynamic. You hold these pictures in your hand like tiny treasures. But they will squirm out, and you have to catch them again, over and over until they get the trick of owning a life and time of their own. Then you don't get much chance to catch again. And you lose the trick of doing it, anyway, in the flow of things. They and you - you are all one glorious world right now. It's work, that world, but studded with wonder and light and fireworks of all kinds. But their single worlds begin to grow. Home schooling them keeps those worlds in harmony, but eventually, they grow so big, it's hard for them all to share one space. That's a weird time, when they go floating off. Going on band tours and dates and places you can only follow them at a distance - if at all. This is melancholy, but it's late, and I'm getting sentimental over these portraits. Immerse yourself while you can - but then, I know you already do. And they, saturated with your brightness and love and curiosity and wonder - will always resonate with you. Forever with you. And the world will be a little more like it should always have been because of this.

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    1. Oh, this makes me sad. I get so sentimental over it too! I look ahead to when they are adults and even though I know it will come, I just can't quite see it! It's like when you are somewhere traveling, and you can't believe you're really there, and you say to yourself: "Someday this will just be a memory, and I'll remember that I stood here thinking this"---and it makes you wonder if anything is truly real. It makes me melancholy too, and it's not even gone yet! I miss your little Ginna, for you! But then--she does have such darling little babies of her own.

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    2. And by the way---it's so nice to hear your voice here. I miss you. I know you are absorbed in important work.

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