Thursday, January 13, 2011
A day at the beach
Laying it down
Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2010
[Please click here to contribute to the latest Thematic theme, wet]
I had come here with our eldest son and daughter on a cool, windy afternoon to walk along the ocean's edge and record it for posterity. Each of us had a camera, and we just wanted to drink in the uncharacteristically quiet beach and see if it offered up any interesting scenes. Nothing more involved than that.
It didn't take long for all of us to realize we had picked a great day for a shoot. I watched them slowly walk onto the beach, scanning thoughtfully. Our daughter found a spot to lay out her towel, sit down and figure out her next move. She remained there for a bit, saying nothing, watching the waves roll in. I hung back and let them figure out where they wanted to go, how they wanted to get there and what they wanted to do along the way.
It was quite a switch from my usual role. The dad in me has long thought parenting was all about doing stuff for your kids. And for much of their young life, it's played out exactly like that. But as they move through their teen years - just saying the word makes me realize how fast time has flown - I'm slowly learning that as they take on greater day-to-day responsibilities, the heavy parental lifting of making and doing begins its inevitable shift to guiding and facilitating.
So instead of placing the cameras in their hands, working the dials and controls for them and telling them where to go and what to capture, I let them figure it all out for themselves. It made for a great, memorable afternoon for us all.
Your turn: Letting go. Please discuss.
One more thing: This is the final entry in our wet theme (see here to squeeze one in under the wire.) We'll launch a new Thematic theme, far from home, later today (Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.