Monday, September 12, 2005

Peter Pan may have been right

My cousin’s wife is an incredibly talented photographer. What started out as a normal parental right, to photograph her children, has become a hobby, then a passion, and now a career.

She has beautiful children, and takes beautiful pictures. What makes them so beautiful (the pictures) isn’t necessarily the subject matter, but her perspective. She has a wonderful talented way of capturing them in their own child world. She photographs the kids, but also captures the wonder of their world. You get a glimpse of how they see things, how they relate to the world around them. She has found the passport to Neverland and has become a welcomed visitor where you never grow up. Through the lens of her camera, she allows us to see into the child world that we all have left behind.

She has inspired me to look at my own children differently. Not just look at them, but watch them, almost become a voyeur in their world. I am a single mother, who works hard to make ends meet. I get caught up in the daily grind of life, work, home, kids, bills, money. Through M’s photographs, I have found that if I just sit quietly and observe, unnoticed by my children, I can learn so much more from them than they will learn from me at the end of the day.

My children have taught me to see beyond the obvious. Yes, Uno is a card game, but did you know that you can play ‘Go fish’ with Uno cards? Did you know you can play ‘War’ (or as my father taught me, ‘High Card’) with the same deck of Uno cards? They have taught me what I have long ago forgotten, that it is important to play. Through playing we can learn so much about ourselves and the world around us. If we can just relax the ‘rules’ and let our imagination take over, there are unbelievable worlds out there to explore. A stick becomes a magic wand, a ditch becomes a moat around a castle, and rocks become currency from a foreign land, or maybe come from a newly discovered planet in a far off galaxy, light years away. Knights and dragons really do exist.

Sometimes they get so involved in their make believe they lose touch with reality. How wonderful it must be to be able to pretend and make believe something so real that reality ceases to exist, even if only for an hour. How wonderful it must be to believe so strongly that your bed becomes a car, and your room becomes the open road and you can travel anywhere your mind can create. That is the true definition of magic. They have better magic than David Copperfield. He can make things disappear, they can make things appear.

Sometimes I think Peter Pan was right all along. I am learning that it is important to hold on to the child inside of me. Never lose the wonder of discovering things for the first time. Believing anything is possible. Look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities, multiple options.

Thank you M for opening the portal to the world that my children live in and I had almost forgotten.

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