When your dad’s a photographer/filmmaker, you’re bound to pick up an interest sooner or later. It’s in the air, a synergy of moments and movements, of creating and curating, of noticing, of stillness, of shhhhh.
Can I have my own camera? she asks.
Someday, I say, and I find myself asking Ken over lunch if he has time for a weekend adventure. I’m thinking a photo walk? She’d love it.
He doesn’t know it’s an early Father’s Day present. He doesn’t know that Bee and I would later sift through our favorite images, learn about cropping, about colors, about the beauty of white space. That we’d spend a Saturday afternoon uploading images here, that two weeks later we’d doodle personal notes and favorite shapes in the margins of a book that he’ll get to keep forever.
I can’t get the butterfly! I can’t get the butterfly! she shouts.
She’s spotted a white one on our walk; she wants to take its photo. But it’s moving too fast, the image is blurred, a tiny fragment of a white wing cropped to the left of the frame.
Make it stay, Mom? she says.
And it’s clear to me on days like these – on years like these – that we can’t make it stay. We can’t capture the beauty, we can’t still the motion, we can’t keep the butterfly.
But still, we try.
Do you think he’s gonna love this, Mom? she asks.
We’re wrapping the book in tissue paper, tying it taut with string.
I think he’s gonna love this, I say.