Monday, November 22, 2010

He shoots, he scores


Focused
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?

15 comments:

Lynne H. said...

I am a Mother to 4 daughters, 1 son. To say i amblessed is truly an understatement. They are each different in the fact that they are all otal opposites.There is one commn thread that weaves us all together..They are all compassionate, kind human beings..

Me? I am my Fathers child...

Michael Manning said...

Well said, Carmi! I'm not married or a parent yet, but I can see the delight you take with your son and daughter's curiosity. What a blessing that they are savoring the time it takes to pause and capture a moment in life! I'd say you are doing splendidly! Yes, there is always reason for Hope, and this post made me smile with optimism!! :)

Shirley said...

My husband and I have five children, the youngest being 18 now! Wow. I don't know where the time goes. I hope and pray that they remain kind, loving individuals; respectful of others and themselves; and that they forever seek and desire to be the best they can be as a person, friend, neighbour and member of society. Each one is an amazing individual and so different from eachother and I count my blessings that I have been given and enjoyed this opportunity. It's not an easy task but so worth it.

Bob-kat said...

How could your enthusiasm for photography not rub off on them? I love that you can share it with your daughter and now you see life through her lens as well :)

kcinnova said...

The traits that drive me most crazy about my kids are my own traits that have been passed down. My husband claims that the only person more stubborn than me is the 18yo man-cub, and vice versa. On the other hand, because of this I do understand some of the workings in his head and heart.
I work to become a better mix of my parents.

The Gearheads said...

My sons are still young, nine and six, so I have less of an outlook of what paths they will choose. I can say, however, my oldest is like me in more ways than I can count, and with that in mind I know the road he has ahead of him. My hope is he can travel it and have better results than I did. I had many difficulties through school and I see him having the same ones, I hope he overcomes the hurdles better than I did.
Don't get me wrong, I feel I am a good person that has done fairly well, but I do know the troubles and hope he can handle better than I did.
As for my youngest, everything he does is deliberate and calculated, I hope he chooses to put this to good use in his life.

-Mr

FreeFlying said...

I can't have kids because I always heard that they'll turn out like me times ten. Which means that they'll leave home at 13 and start traipsing around war torn countries by 15. Terrifying!

Why couldn't I have been all smart and artsy?

Btw, thanks for the comment the other day. I always love having new visitors and finding new blogs to stalk!

bruce said...

both my kids are similar and different to me...i embrace it all..

i am a good mix of the good and bad of my parents...

spending quality time with your kids is what makes good kids...

srp said...

Oh, my, I hope not! Well, in some ways she is, but in her interests... quite different.

Karen Sather said...

My children are somewhat like myself, hubby and other family members actually (it's all in the genes) but I've been a big believer in letting them create their own ways, and not forced anything really, and glad what they've picked up. Funny, 3 children and all very different from each other, but they have the most tender of hearts I've seen! (Big plus) I am a bit like my parents, but yet different as well. I have to comment on the buildings in which you eat. I love them, they all seem with the wood, and bricks that they are nice substantial buildings and don't appear to be of the newest vinyl trends! My kind of buildings!

Cathy at 'While the Dervish Dances' said...

This is truly the double edged sword of parenthood, n'est pas?

becca said...

my son is like me in that he never meets a stranger and he likes everyone regardless of who they are so for that i am thankful he has learned to respect, love and acceptance of all people. unlike me he is very cratative and loves performing and being around large groups and easliy becaomes the center of attention where i prefer to be alone. so he the perfect combo and a great kid

Levonne said...

You sound like a patient and loving father Carmi. And a great role model. Photography is a superior way to engage with one's environment. You've shared a wonderful thing with them.

TheMuddledMarketPlace said...

Watching with amusement one of my offspring getting ready to leave this home for a trip, i am forced to conclude that he is stunningly like me!

Usually though? Usually it's a bit of one and a bit of another, flavouring picked up from significant others along their journey and then....whoosh! They're kinda 'a bit like us'....but so so uniquely themselves as well

Anne said...

My dad has always been a photographer, a hobby outside his paying job, and now that he's retired he's doing some professional work. I inherited his eye and some of his skills. I got a new camera for my birthday, a Nikon SLR. I passed my old SLR off to my daughter. She loves to take pictures, she needs some work with lighting and composition, but that'll come in time. The thing that got me was when she said, "I love the click when you take the picture, it's so satisfying." She's so right about that.