Photos of Growing Up

Not A Day Goes By


Not a day goes by, not a single one, without this girl amazing me. It’s not always a grand gesture, something recordable with modern technology. Not always something to slap onto Instagram. She might look over her shoulder at me with wise eyes or a wry smile or pretend to pee like a dog on my camera case…and record player…and favorite chair. She might subtly roll her eyes when the lady in front of us at the grocery store pulls out her checkbook to pay and then again when that same lady leaves her shopping cart between cars in the parking lot.

This 10-year-old girl has a panache and skills beyond her years. She can recite song lyrics after a single listen, mimicking the inflections in the singer’s voice with impossible accuracy. She’ll dance like a loon in between racks of hideous clothes in Macy’s on a Sunday afternoon, unabashedly in love still with the freedom found in being a silly child. She exhibits no interest in giving up that gift. This is one of many traits we share.

I cannot finish writing this. I think there’s more I want to say but each sentence would be both a facsimile of a prior one and severely lacking in its punch because I simply don’t have the words and I am not going to turn it flowery to make you think I possess some poetic voice that will ultimately shift the spotlight onto myself. I belong in her shadow. Her long, long shadow.

I’m not a photo printer. My memories, for better or worse, exist on hard drives, internal and external. But I printed this b&w shot of the Bear in her Easter Sunday best and I have it propped up less than 14″ from my laptop, next to my blood pressure pills, H&M coupon (expired, dammit), a birthday party invitation, the Samsung NX30 camera that took this photo, and a painting this bright young girl made for me. Read into all that what you will. There is no metaphor or poetry there. Only grace and love and beauty that I never want to be too far from my line of vision.

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