Thursday, December 13, 2007

Scars and All

photo by John Harrington

When they told me my daughter (and I knew she was a girl) had a big hole in her spine, I freaked out. I was terrified & scared, I doubted and questioned whether we could keep her, if I was capable of being a good father to her. Above all else, I was ashamed of what I was feeling, and wanted to vanish from it all.

Whatever perfect image of beauty, grace, function and ability that I previously carried with me have all been changed, altered, evolved and grown into an image that you see before you now. This baby, this whole human being, will know more, be more, and do more than I ever thought possible as she moves into the future. Her beauty is so bloody apparent to me, it is a palpable force that surrounds her, and makes my heart catch in my throat, which is probably a good thing, as once she takes my breath away, there needs be something in my esophagus.

If I know my daughter, and I am pretty sure I do, she is going to completely own everything about her, everything from being a little vain about how beautiful her eyes are, to showing off the ridge of her shunt and the web of scars that cross her lower back. I know that as she gets older, and her back gets wider, the scars that appear there will stay the same size, and thus be smaller by comparison, but it doesn't matter.

Millie, if this blog is still around when you are older, know this: I have always found you to be the most beautiful creation I have ever beheld. From the moments when they brought you into the world, and from every moment hence, you have become more and more lovely. When I put you to bed, fighting the urge to crawl into your crib every night, I go to sleep with the knowledge that the next day you will grace me with your smile, your warmth and your love that is unfettered by words. Thank you Millie, thank you so much.

Daddy loves you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stop Smart, Stop "F" Stop.

or...."In Praise of Professional Photography"

The Goodely Wyfe is a professional photographer, so is her boss and a number of our good friends. Also included in our good friends are a number of amateur photographers, and then there are folks like me, those what own cameras.

I have always understood on some level that anything done at a professional level is going to be far and away better than things done at the amateur level. It makes a lot of sense, kind of a "no brainer". Well, I must have been less of brain than the Scarecrow of Oz, because it wasn't until I myself was professionally photographed that I really grokked the entire idea.

We went as a family to the Goodely's boss's studio where we set up backdrops, all sorts of crazy illuminaition devices and I chatted with two delightful young ladies whilst the Goodely and John ooh'd and ahh'd over all the new camera equipment that came in. I heard things like "Oh, that's the D something or other" and "...and that is at 1600!" which I am guessing is photolingus for describing nifty new toys.

"We went as a family..." cool is that? I don't think I've written that before. I like the way it looks.

I ALSO liked the way the Goodely, Millie and I looked by the time we were done. The prcoess was smooth, easy and wonderful. John gave us small promptings that made a huge difference when we were looking at the images, subtle small changes that I would not have thought of, but then again, why would I? He is the fiddler, I am dancing to his tune. Millie smiled every now and then, cuddled and looked away at others, but John was super patient and we ended up with about sixty shots that will be coming our way. One is here for your perusal:

photo by John Harrington

I urge you, please go and have yourself and those you love professionally photographed. This image is one that I imagine I will treasure forever.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Home for the Holidays

This may very well be Millie's first Piggy Back Ride! Hit the calendar!

I believe this is quite the oddity for the family, but we are staying home for the holidays. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a quiet affair at home, and Christmas will be celebrated likewise. We have many local parties and gatherings to attend, but the holidays, they will be rather low key. Typically we travel up to New Jersey to see La Familia, but it will just be too much. My parents will be staying with us for Christmas, which will be delightful.

I like it. Hopefully, I will be able to create the holiday gifts that I want this year, something crafty and hopefully blessedly low cost. In general, I don't like to do what I am "supposed" to do, and thus always fight buying presents around the holidays, preferring instead to buy everyday gifts and do little kindnesses all the time.

I hear that men in general are very difficult gift receivers, and I may very well fall into that category. Giving gifts, I'm also pretty awful at, I think, as I tend to get people what I want them to have, not necessarily what I think they will like.

"What??!!? You don't own a copy of Batman: Year One? Off to the store I go!"

To that end, I also am reticent to tell people what I "want" for Christmas or my birthday or whatever. Besides being on the receiving end of some very enthusiastic oral sex, there isn't much else that I can name that I "want". I like to use gift receiving time as that chance to gauge how people perceive me. Some people still, after many years, don't seem to "get" me at all, and some folk surprise me by getting me amazing gifts that I never would have thought of before. At the end of the day, I'm a VERY easy person to give gifts to, just give me a little something from your life, or the life that we have shared together, however minimally or completely that may be.

Or heck, don't get me anything this year, and just smile at me, give me a hug or whatever else come to mind. Who knows, maybe you will get a piggy back ride in return!