Friday, November 09, 2007
Little brother watches
Playing on the edge
London, ON, October 2007
Major events in a family's life tend to affect each member in different ways. It's easy to forget that simple fact. It's easy to forget that, as you run around getting everything ready for the biggest moment of your eldest son's life, his little brother and sister are being buffeted by the same stresses that keep you up at night, staring at the ceiling.
At 7, Noah seems to have already figured out how to handle whatever's going on around him. In this image, he plays quietly at the edge of the synagogue's sanctuary while his brother practices on the bima - the raised platform in the middle (see here for earlier entry). I wish I had his ability to focus, to block out confusion, to hold onto the little things that matter in a little boy's life no matter what the context may be.
As I quietly reached through the doorway with my lens and took a no-flash, slow-speed memory of that small moment in a small boy's life, I reminded myself to pay closer attention to the tertiary effects of life on each member of my family. I wondered what he was thinking as his attention meandered between his own temporary playground and the sounds of his older brother preparing for something big and unknown. I wondered what he was remembering, what color it would be in his mind, what it would feel like to him years later when he would be the one in his brother's place.
I wanted to ask him. But it didn't seem right to intrude in this moment. So I put the camera away when I was done and went back to the chaise lounge in the lobby. I don't think he ever suspected I was there, which is as it should be.
Your turn: Childhood memories from the periphery. Please discuss.