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Seriously Serious

Robin was talking — 0r g-chatting, or e-mailing, or whatever passes for communication these days — with an old friend of ours who lives in Los Angeles.  The friend was saying that the more frequent blogging makes her feel like she’s right here with us, watching Miles grow up.  I glowed a little as Robin told me this because, you know, the thought of being connected to loved ones near and far makes me a little weepy and happy at the same time.  I’m that sort.

But then Robin said, “And she said Miles looks so serious all the time, very somber.  Like, he’s never smiling for the camera.”

!!!?!?!???

Sputter, sputter, snort, guffaw.   

I don’t know what she’s talking about!   Do you?

The dreamer.

 

I mean, sure, he’s not a smile machine like his friend Diego.  I get that.  But to say that he looks serious?  I just don’t know where that’s coming from.  Is she blind?  The kid’s a laugh a minute!

Playground.

 

Truly, he practically bubbles with perpetual giggles, as the following photo should make obvious.   Ready?  Here it comes.  The hilarity and glee are going to knock you out.

Jedi nap-avoidance.

Okay, so I had to concede the point; we post a lot of somber-baby shots.   I started in, huffing and puffing and filling my worry balloon, analyzing whether there’s something wrong with Miles, if he’s too serious, if he’s happy.  Robin cut me off.

“I told her it probably has more to do with our aesthetic and with when and how you take photos.”

Oh, yeah.  Worry balloon deflated.

Miles is a happy kid, but it’s a happy quiet.  His default emotional state is a sort of muted, curious amusement.  He is quiet, but he is not shy.  He observes before plunging in, but he’s not fearful.  His touch is light; his bites of food are small.  He laughs and smiles, especially when Momma is wrestling him or if he sees a dog wagging its tail or our cat Luna playing on the bed.  He’s mild-mannered (though recently prone to tantrums).  He’s just Miles.

He laughs.  Really!  But in case you’d prefer some evidence, I come prepared.

Party all the time.

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I promised more posts, and more posts you shall have! 

So often in this family, I am the one behind the camera.  I’m no professional photographer — I mostly use the automatic settings on my camera these days — but I have enjoyed playing at photography since high school.  The rituals of the darkroom soothed me through high school and college with their solitude, chemical fragrances and slosh, slosh, sloshing sounds.  Then, post-college, I used my camera to document the small happinesses of domestic life: Robin, our cat Luna, food, and combinations of the three.  Robin cooking food!  Luna and Robin napping in the sun!  Robin eating bacon with Luna lurking menacingly on the arm of her chair!  Since then, well, you know what it’s been.  Close-ups of Miles.  Robin holding Miles.  Miles sitting in his high chair flinging food at Luna.  And so on.

I love photographing everyday life.  Gestures that hint at complexities between loved ones.  A plate of breakfast food. Feet.   Often, I attach great emotion and meaning to a photo that others find completely commonplace and unexciting.  (“Why did you take a picture of the back of my head?” )  I stand by the fact that, to the careful observer, these photos reveal the ordinary sweetness of being alive. 

Here are some photos from our everyday, not-so-dramatic life.  Instead of close-ups, or posed shots, they are life as it unfolds.  And, okay, they all involve food.

Brunch at home.

 



Scrambled eggs.

 

Feeding time.

 

Nanny, Miles, Nana.

 

But then, every once in awhile, I realize there is very little photographic evidence of my presence.  And I hand the camera to Robin and say, “Take one of me.”  And she, with a gentle smile, obliges.

Early February, Hotel Le Bleu.

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