Friday, August 15, 2008

They grow up too fast

Finding comfort in the school yard
London, ON, June 2008 [Click to embiggen]
Admin note: This photo continues this week's Thematic Photographic theme, poignant. Please click here to get your own photo party started.
As the school year wound down into its final few days, I toted my camera to school each morning, waiting for the kind of moments that I knew wouldn't present themselves again in September. By then, he'd be bigger, in the next grade (3!) and he probably wouldn't need to carry his stuffed animal with him through the school yard.

The little boy in him seems to slip away incrementally each and every day. His voice is changing ever so slightly. He's taking on bigger books with more words and fewer pictures. Even the way he walked and carries himself is increasingly more like his older brother and less like the munchkin he's always been.

When he returns to school next month, the school yard will be new. The building he's always known as his no longer belongs to our school. It's been sold and is being renovated by its new owners. The crumbled asphalt where he honed his soccer skills and made his first bunch of friends will soon be paved over. University students will eventually park there, unaware of how this unassuming stretch of land helped turn our little boy into a bigger, more confident and capable one.

This experience reminds me that we leave imprints on all sorts of places as we continue our own journeys through life. They're not obvious - there isn't a plaque that announces this is where we learned to play champ, for example - but they're significant if we take the time to remember them.

I'm glad I did on this sunny late June morning. I hope he'll be glad when he's older and takes the time to read this.

Your turn: A place that mattered to your childhood. What made it special?


Ryanne said...

Oh, they do grow so fast. I love this picture. I am sure someday he will be embarrased by it, but then with age and maturity he will be so grateful that you took the time to capture his innocence.

Star said...

That photo just tugs at my heart. They do change so much every day.The backpack looks so big on him there.I wonder what will rn through his mind when he does take the time to read the post?

Nestor Family said...

This is an incredible photo and it hits me as our boys head back to school, too... to remember and treasure these moments as they are still wide-eyed and innocent.

A place I treasured when I was younger... well, two places, actually... was my room and my backyard. I would spend hours both places playing, pretending, in a world of make-believe or even just practicing my flute at my chair in my room or my tennis backhand and quickness on our uneven garage door. I felt safe and comforted yet able to grow and have fun.

Mojo said...

Seems like every day I run across a photo somewhere of somebody's kids who are now at an age mine once were. Mine are 25 and 20 now -- soon to be 26 and 21 (both in December). And believe me Carmi, as happy as you are to have this shot now, you have no idea how glad you'll be that you got it when he's 25.
another entry
into the theme today for those who'd care to see.

tiff said...

My two are both now in middle school. Where does the time go?

What a great shot....the stuffed animal totally makes it.

swilek said...

I have posted this week's theme here:

Thanks! I am enjoying everyone's images!

Anonymous said...

My youngest is starting third grade this year and I can hardly believe it.

As for a place I remember from childhood, there's this.


D.O.M. Dan said...

Is that Spongebob on his backpack? My youngest must be the same age as yours; mine is also starting the 3rd grade in September. My entry to Thematic Photography is here, and includes my soon-to-be 8 year old.

MorahMommy said...

Our little man is certainly growing up. We're lucky to have 3 wonderful and healthy children.

That picture captures Noah to a tee (especially with the stuffed animal in his hand)

Each day he gets more lovable than the last. I cherish each hug and kiss and fret the day when he will be too embarrassed to do it!

Anonymous said...

My youngest and her big brother are starting preschool tomorrow, and although I crave the quiet solitude that I'll experience, I'm choked up just thinking about it.

A special place during my childhood was my mom's flower bed. She had beautiful flowers planted all around the house, but she never planted flowers in the bed right in front of the kitchen window. That way, my brother and I could sit in the dirt and dig while she watched us from the kitchen. Even then, I knew that was an act of love.