“What is dive bombing?” Beren asks.
“I know what dive bombing is with birds,” Jared says.Read More
I found this note on a scrap of paper. It is probably about 3 years old. Beren is past his Richard Scarry days, in which we find the compelling but bit part character, Maniac. Here is what Beren told me about Maniac:
Maniac’s ear and arm fell off. He plants mugwort. He uses a tea candle as a fire pit. His house is no color. He had no family.
Self-portrait in the bathroom, December 30, 2018.
Spent the day with family. Two babies. Beren played with my cousins and then turned his attention to these little creatures, six and fourteen months. They were attentive to his leaping, running, and goofing. My six month old niece’s legs and arms went taut with excitement as she watched him. He encouraged my cousin’s fourteen month old, “Try to get me!” in a high pitched voice, coming closer as he gauged her ability to catch him.
In preparation, we read a book about babies. “I don’t play with babies,” he said. “Babies are weird.” “They certainly are different than big kids,” I said.
I was really warmed to see the way he interacted, finding ways to have fun with them and considering their abilities. I was reminded of a favorite book, Free to Learn by Peter Gray who discusses how mixed aged groups of children are so important and are often self-regulating. Beautiful and true.
As of this rotation around the sun, my kid has been partially infected by the most deadly and widespread malady of the twentieth and twenty-first century — Consumerula inflata. It is commonly known as The Gimmes.Read More
Of the shopping cart with the vehicle on the front, his hand upon the roof of the puffy-looking, no sharp edges, no danger vehicle, “I don’t want to ride in this. I don’t want anyone to think I am a little kid.”
Those carts used to be sought after by both of us, my savior, my route to peaceful grocery shopping. Alas.
Sometimes, you can just wait and live life, and suddenly:
Please and thank you become part of a child's vocabulary. Easy and honest.
Or, maybe a child shares the crispy, salty skin of a roasted chicken with his mother and father. Easy and honest.
Or, maybe you're feeling crummy and a child gives you a hug. A nice, long hug.
Maybe things change and maybe things change in time. In time. Easy and honest.
He is sovereign over himself. So, perhaps he will one day write his own stories. Now, I am careful with and respectful of (as I hope I always was, though he may tell me otherwise, and be right) of the representation of his life.Read More
Rachel Mackow is a photographer and writer who resides on a ridge in the New Jersey Highlands with her husband and son.
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I'm a writer and photographer, observer and keeper of memories in this space, The Shagbark Speaks. In the other spaces of my life, which take most of my time, I am a wife, mother, native plant grower & natural lands restoration practitioner, and laundress.