Toddler Photographer

Only nineteen days into this photo-a-day project of mine, and I’m already noticing a lot of interesting aspects of it. For one, there is a feeling of accomplishment that comes from starting a daily goal and sticking with it for a few weeks. Every time I take out my camera and snap a photo, it’s like collecting a piece of my day, gathering it up into my arms and placing it into the basket of memories that is my life. And every day I do this, I feel more convinced I really will make it the whole year, which is a good feeling. I also like the possibility that by doing this particular goal, I’m proving to myself that I can stick with something. It’s a good feeling. It gives me hope that maybe I really can do the things I’ve set out to do this year, including making healthier meals and getting fit.

One unexpected fun part of this project has been my son’s reaction to it. I’m not surprised he enjoys our walks when I venture out to find cool snapshots. I am a little surprised that he wanted to take pictures, too, though I shouldn’t be. He’s so eager to try things he sees other people doing, which is a common trait of most two year olds, I think! But I will admit, I am very surprised at the quality of his photos, and the impact they had on me…

All photos in this post were taken by Homer.

These first two are of what he finds interesting and exciting – our beloved neighborhood slide. This day, there was frost on it, which is the grey/icy picture:



These next two are of us, a self portrait, and one of me…

This one of me really made me stop and think. This is how he sees me. This is how I look from his height. I am a short woman, really, at barely 5’4″, but I tower over him. Then I realized it’s not just me who towers over him – the whole world does. Being a child in the world is not as easy as people make it sound. I’ve heard people say, “Oh man, I wish I was in kindergarten again when my only problem was who stole my crayons.” As if that’s nothing to worry about! That’s a big damn deal, having your crayons stolen, and what’s more, if you’re in kindergarten, it’s possible that’s the first time you’ll experience having crayons stolen, the first time you experience and understand that sense of betrayal. It is hard stuff learning about and navigating the world as we grow. Our adult problems seem like a big deal to us now, as if our childhood worries were simply trivial, but it was all always a big deal. We are all always learning.

So understanding my son’s literal perspective of the world, his actual viewpoint and what I look like being so high up, it truly hit me how important it is to squat down on his level more often, and to make sure to keep my frustrations in check so that I don’t go snapping at him. I wouldn’t want anyone snapping at me, much less someone who is so big compared to me. I usually do a pretty good job, I think, of not getting angry, but I admit there are times I’m harsher than I mean to be. This was just a really good reminder for me.

Then these are just really pretty tree pictures:



Look at that sunset he captured!!

These are also other interesting examples of his vantage point, slightly lower set than many pictures. You can just tell he’s shooting from a lower height than most of us adults when you look at these:



And last but not least, I had knelt down to talk to him and help him hold the camera, when he turned it and said, “I take a picture of YOU, Mommy!” So I smiled at him, and this was the result, one of my favorite photos of myself.

Thanks for giving me such wonderful reasons to smile, my sweet son.  I love you always.
Thanks for giving me such wonderful reasons to smile, my sweet son. I love you always.

2 thoughts on “Toddler Photographer”

  1. I agree with your sentiments about kid stresses. I frequently hear people say to kids that they don’t know what real problems are or they say to one another something that trivializes their stresses. People sometimes have a hard time remembering that that may be huge to the child. I feel like I put my foot down with Flora and keep her safe and give her the right boundaries, but I think that other people sometimes think I’m being too lenient with her because she’ll be distraught about something that seems tiny to them and I treat her emotions about it like they’re the most important thing in her world. But she’s young. They kind of -are-. I also feel like this is why she trusts me more than some other adults. I certainly have more trust for people who respond to me like my problems matter and are real even if they’re not the same problems as theirs. Someone crapping on what you confess to them and saying it’s nothing to worry about because what THEY are going through is so much worse is a top way to lose faith or affection in someone. So why do that to our kids?

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