Tuesday, December 17, 2013

October Memories

 The first time we trekked out from the city to the country to pick apples and pose with pumpkins was 6 years ago.  The biggest guy in these pictures was only 2 and the second biggest guy was in my belly.  The next year we had two little ones and one on the way (actually only a month out).  Several years and subsequent visits later we brought the littlest one who decided to sample the dirt during his first pumpkin photo shoot.  And this October these pictures were taken of four rapidly growing boys.  In various stages of becoming men.
 The thing about tradition and growing up is that while we adults try and create memories we really can't.  Ultimately what the boys remember will depend on them, what is important to them, what they value, what sticks as odd or fun or silly.  It may be that I may cherish these outings way more than they ever do.  I acknowledge my part in that, my attempt to influence their childhood stories to reflect my own values and interests.
 There was no picture where they all looked at me and smiled.  Photographing 4 boys between the ages of 8 and 2...good luck my friend.  But in each one you can see a characteristic; the stoic leader, the mischievous one, the thinker with his heart on his sleeve, and the unpredictable wild card.  Each so close and yet miles away from the person they could be tomorrow or were yesterday.  
There are many definitions of family that ring true for me.  I don't hold one above all others because the path of my life has taught me that every type of family that we encounter whether we are born into in, make it ourselves or have it forced upon us shapes us and teaches us more about ourselves.  All I can hope for these 4 is that the family that they most certainly are gives them strength and deep love and acceptance that they can carry their whole lives.

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