London, ON, September 2010
Quick note: This photo supports Thematic Photographic's candid theme. Please click here to participate. It won't hurt.We never really know how our kids will turn out. We do our best as parents, of course, by learning from our mistakes and from the mistakes of others. Sometimes, it seems like a never-ending, open-ended lab experiment, one that leaves you wondering if all you've done is enough.
The upshot of it all is that there really is no way to know. There isn't a teacher sitting at the front of the class, waving an exam with a letter grade on it. There's no end-of-semester, no finish line, no established metrics for knowing if you've passed or failed. But that's the way it is, so we deal with it.
A small token of validation sometimes comes from watching these little versions of us follow somewhat tentatively in our footsteps. Don't get me wrong, the last thing I'd ever want is for our kids to be carbon copies of us. They're their own people, and nothing brings us greater pride than to watch them follow, without fear, their own path through life. But I admit I get a little jolt of happiness when I see them cross my path, however fleetingly.
For example, all of our kids have become very comfortable around and motivated by cameras and photography. I've never pushed it on them, but I guess a lifetime of having lenses stuck in their faces has rubbed off. Our daughter just got her first Nikon, and she carries it with her wherever she goes. We review her work together and then she heads out and shoots some more. Listening to her talk about the joy she gets from recording the world around her is, frankly, a joy for me, too.
Here, our son explores the nearly-deserted restaurant around us (see here for a scene from the same night.) He was so careful and deliberate with his composition that I couldn't not pick up my wife's camera and record him, too. It made me happy knowing he was happily exploring this place through the lens. My lens. Maybe this parenting thing is going to work out, after all.
Your turn: Are your kids like you? Are you like your parents?