Undequadraginta

I love this picture because of everything it isn't.

It isn't anywhere close to the best picture I've taken.

It's blurry

                  It's grainy

          The colors are all off

                           Oh my god, the sneakers.

But when I look at this, all I can see is the sound of laughter in the air, the feel of cold on my skin. I see, with crystal clarity, one gloriously perfect moment that flew past you both so fast it bent and blurred the world in its wake.

In that fleeting moment, I see you. I see you joyous, and I wish you 39 more years of it.

Something Old, Something New

So my husband got me this fancy-pants camera for Mother's Day, because I quite literally ran my last one to the ground.  The kids' god-grandmother and god-grandfather sent it to 3of3 for her 1st birthday present.  Little did they know they'd be throwing her entire party a few weeks later, because god knows I know how to thank someone for a ridiculously kind gesture...by dropping myself and my three children at their doorstep and being all, "Throw us a party, yo!"

3of3 turns one



Which they did, and it was perfect in every way.  And even though I totally suck, and I have no clue why they tolerate me, they do and for that reason I am the luckiest human alive.  I should really start playing the lottery.

Anyway, they sent me the World's Best Point and Shoot, and I have been truly, madly, deeply in love with it.  But dragging a poor, helpless camera with you every single place you ever go takes a toll on it, and for the better part of a year, I've only been able to shoot pictures at a 52 1/2 degree angle, which has made for some really awesome pictures but has grown the slightest bit, well, annoying as all fuck.  And then about a month ago, it went to sleep and never woke up the next day.  I'm not entirely sure it's dead yet; in fact, I think it may feel happy and be up for a nice walk, but until I can find a decent camera shop, I'm shit out of luck.

Was shit out of luck.

Daddy came through big time with a DSLR and gave it to me before Mother's Day so I could hide behind it while his mother was here take really nice pictures of his mom's visit.  This *almost* makes up for him putting three whole people in me that had to come out through, well, that.

I haven't used a manual camera since I was the photographer for my high school senior year book, which was just enough years ago that my underwear from then is officially out of style.  I'd always used one before, though.  My parents were kind of snobs about a few things, cameras being one of them.  We didn't always have dinner, but we had a Marantz amp and a '68 Fretless Wonder and really bomb-ass cameras.  In fact, my father still has and uses all three of those things.  And about 15 Beta desks.  He's a pack-rat and Betas are totally superior decks; shut up.

So I've got this new totally awesome camera and I can barely remember how to use the version of it that took film, let alone figure out digital excellence.  But I'm determined.  Someone sent me a subscription to American Photography and The Donor is insisting I take classes on how to use it to get me the fuck out of this house once in a while so it's sheer brilliance won't be squandered.

Meanwhile, I'm having fun toying with it.  Which means it's a boy.  I'm okay with that.  So far, I've guessed my way into a few pretty decent pictures.  (titles show up if you hover)

Walking on Sunshine
Upward and Onward
Into A Dream
In Bloom
Where The WIld Thing Is
On It's Way

I'm no Mishelle Lane, just yet, but look out woman....I'm on a mission.

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Say Click

As parents, The Donor and I try really hard to avoid cramming our own unfulfilled hopes and dreams down our children's throats, but there are just some things in life that cannot be avoided, like cramming our unfulfilled hopes and dreams down our children's throats.

For example, my husband was a really really REALLY good swimmer for a very long time.

He's on the block



So when our first child didn't exhibit anything that started with "deadly" when near the water, we slapped a speedo on that very cute little diapered bootylicious and crossed our fingers.

Swimming



Both of my parents are freakishly talented musicians and I always wished I was more like them that way, so naturally when my children so much as bop to a song on the radio, I compulsively start leaving trails of instruments around the house.

Roll Over, Beethoven
Ain't Noise Pollution

When our children show pre-dispositions to our own genetic quirks, like being double-jointed or able to roll our r's, we can't help but encourage them to keep practicing to perfect those traits.

Genetic Brilliance



It's exciting to see yourself in your kids, to see what weird thing they've taken from you or your spouse while you weren't looking.  It's neat when one kid has blue eyes and one kid has green eyes and one kid has hazel eyes.  It's fascinating how one kid can be completely literal and unimaginative while one kid can live with his head at cumulus level at all times, but at the same time neither of them are physically capable of estimation, just because that's what you've passed on.  It's fun to try and figure out which of the penchants or quirks or ticks your children possess came from nature and which came from nurture.  It's the question between what is taught and what is given.

I have no doubt at all that my kids like to take pictures, however, because they've lived most of their lives with a lens in their face.

My parents are just artists.  They sing and paint and play and photograph.  All of my siblings and I are also artistically inclined.  I can't for a second argue the fact that our musical and artistic abilities are just engrained into our DNA, and I also have to acknowledge the fact that my two brothers and me, who essentially did not know each other for most of our lives and still all grew up pre-dispositioned for engineering must be sharing some genetic ability.  I also know for a fact that I am never more than 10 feet away from my camera because my parents were never more than 10 feet from theirs and this is a simply a habit that I picked up from them.

And then I passed it down.

While we were in Whistler Village last week, my daughter came up to me and asked me for the camera.  So I gave it to her and wept for its untimely demise.  Except she didn't break it; quite to the contrary, she kind of rocked it a lot.

Taking Pictures



My three year old, it turns out, has quite the eye for photography.  She took a lot of pictures of her fingers, but then she saw a bird that she HAD to photograph, so she followed it all over the square, trying to get the shot.

Budding Photog



Now, those two shots up there were taken on my new Dingleberry, but this one, the money shot, was taken by my three year old. And it's totally unedited.

First photography session, take two



Do you see the bird? The girl's good, yo.

In fact, she's so good that she managed to take a totally crisp, perfectly centered and absolutely horrifying picture of her mother. You know how y'all are always like, "Dude, do you ever take a bad picture?" Wanna know why? Because I am the one taking the pictures, and I care enough to delete the rancid ones before anyone else can see them. But my kid doesn't.

First photography session



Because she won't have her art tamed. She won't be censored by the man. And she says you're welcome.