8/29/09

Happy birthday Junie


Today is June's birthday--my baby is three and I think I'm in a bit of shock. One year felt reasonable, two years felt normal, but three--three means I'm firmly in the midst of raising children, not babies, and it's a strange sensation, crossing this threshold. I haven't been writing much because we took a family trip to Iowa (two pictures from our journey above, more to come) and I've been mentally prepping for both June's birthday and Edie's entering kindergarten, another milestone.

This summer has been a whirlwind; I feel like it barely happened and now it's almost over. I'm ready for the girls to be back in school, to get into a normal routine again, but I'm also obviously quite nostalgic today. We happened to go to a movie this afternoon (Ponyo, June's first) in Montclair, which is where June was born, and we drove part of the same route. The weather was exactly the same, mild and rainy and I kept thinking about how around the same time on the same route three years ago I was in heavy labor, turned backward in my seat, gripping the headrest.

There's so much I could say about June's birth, about how transformative it was, and about who she is today: how she makes me smile every time I look at her beautiful face, how much I love having her as my daughter, how it feels to watch her play with her big sister. But tonight it's late, the house is a disaster and I have to go clean up in preparation for her birthday party tomorrow (small, sans goodie bags, a laid-back affair with some good friends and family), so I'll have to save my thoughts for later.

I love you June Lindhardt Worrell.

8/17/09

Lenscratch

Many thanks to Aline Smithson who writes the excellent blog Lenscratch for featuring my work today, see here. I've been following her posts for a while now and enjoy seeing the various photographers she's shown, so I'm very happy to be included in her lineup. I think what she says about my images in the first paragraph really hits on what I hope to convey in my photography--I only wish I had thought of the same phrases for my artist statement!

8/8/09

All's well that ends well

© James Worrell (I wish I could take credit for the image above--alas...You can see the bit of blood that came out of June's nose as a result of the mishap I expound on below.)
© Me

This seems to be the summer of illness, at least for June, though it somehow doesn't feel that way. I suppose it's because she recovers quickly, and it's quite enjoyable having a warm little oven want to lie in the crook of your arm and sleep. Plus it's nice to not have to feel guilty about letting them watch TV and movies all day.

Apart from illness June also landed herself in the hospital last week by sticking gum up her nose. Way up her nose. We were about to head to a friend's house for dinner when she announced what she'd done--and quite proudly, I might add. (Now you know that, yes, I give my children gum, which prior to having kids I thought was somehow irresponsible, and now that I'm a mother have discovered is one of the best bribery tools around.)

Something about the nasal passages and their proximity to the brain sent me into a bit of a tizzy. This seems to be universal--I've witnessed other friends become panicked when their kids have jammed sharp objects roundabouts; ears also seem to spook parents. I started running around looking for a toothpick or tweezers, anything to pluck out the offending object. I managed to pull out a small piece, but could see more way in the back; I tried again and then accidentally poked her, which started her nose bleeding, which got her and me even more upset. James made an attempt, and then there was a call to the pediatrician, and we were given the advice to head to the children's ER. Off we went in two cars, with Edie whining about wanting to play with her friend Isabel, and June with James in the other car, eating a lollipop.

We arrived, waited for a bit while June played happily and Edie continued to whine, and when it was our turn we decided that James would take June in and I would head to Paul and Paulo's to spare Edie who a.) is very protective of her little sister and is traumatized by seeing her get shots, etc. and b.) so that she would get to have a distraction in a playmate.

I soon heard the story of how four people had to hold June down while she screamed so piercingly that James put his head down on her legs and cried, and how after three attempts they managed to pull out a piece of gum that was so large that everyone gasped in shock. All I can think is that she was packing it up there on consecutive days, or that one piece of gum chewed up is much bigger than you think--it's a mystery. About an hour later we were all at dinner, and June went off and played as if nothing ever happened. That kid is tough.

There was incredible weather, with hail and thunder, and a trash can floating down a river in the street as if it were making its escape, and we all agreed that it was a strange day. For my part I had a stiff drink and was thankful for good friends, and that all had ended well.

There is something both humorous and terrifying about these sorts of instances--as a parent you see how easy it is for your child to do some crazy things, and it sets your mind worrying about other more dangerous, more consequential crazy things. And then there is the gratitude that once again you managed to make it through another day with yourself and your family complete. Every night when I go to bed and my loves are tucked in safely I think about that: I think "one more day" and then I have to push the thoughts that make the room spin with emptiness out of my head.

Right now I'm the only one awake; soon I'll also be in bed, and again I'll repeat my mantra, and again I'll be thankful that I'm drifting off with my family whole and intact and perfect in its imperfection.