I was talking with a friend recently about the things I don't want to forget about the kids, about the memories I hope remain throughout my years. Immediately, Towmater came to mind. Oscar is the first of my children to love something this hard and for this long. In his short time on this planet, he has surmised that 'Mater is just the coolest thing. He is his favorite. thing. ever. I hope that for all of the time I've got remaining, I can always see, in my mind and my heart, the light that shines in his eyes when he catches sight of that little redneck tow truck friend of his.
This is a memory I hold dear, and I really hope that I don't forget to capture those memories... I won't go into detail repeating here what is to be found somewhere on the blog of any photographer that dares to try to make a living on their passion.
It occurred to me mid-conversation at the park, that I needed to create a Towmater image... something I can look back on and instantly melt into a puddle of mommy-time memories. My first thoughts on this were his big stuffed 'Mater. He isn't any more or less crazy for any one 'Mater; he loves them all the same and they all fall into a kind of rotation in play. I didn't think to shoot the stuffed one because I have some fond memories of him snuggling it to sleep every night...that's not his gig. He's just not really a "stuftie" kind of guy. I thought of the stuffed one because out of all his 'Maters, his stuffed one is the largest, and the "prettiest". I thought a shot of him against a brown background in blue jeans and a t-shirt hugging that big stuffed truck would be perfect! But then I remembered- I already got the shot I was looking for back in February.
The image above, his bathtub 'Mater under a chair in his grandma's living room, brings all the memories rushing back every time I see it. My heart fills with love for a little growing boy that I know I won't be cradling in my arms for much longer. The stuftie cuddles in front of a coordinating solid color background would put Towmater and Oscar in the same location together, yes; would remind me of the joy these toys brought him, yes... but the above image speaks to my heart. 'Mater stuffed under a chair reminds me of how I could find one of his likenesses at any moment, in any room of the house; the warm sunlight streaming in whispers of quiet, afternoon play time. And in this image, as he is in Oscar's little life, 'Mater is the star of the show. So while I could create an artistically and technically solid image with the stufftie, it doesn't cut to the heart of things, which is what I'm after each time I press the shutter.
The secret to surviving this whole life thing with most of your pieces mostly intact is to remember, often, how beautiful all of it is. Not to just let that thought linger on the surface, but to breathe it deep into your heart, your gut, your bones... and know, without a doubt, that this moment is absolutely perfect just the way it is. With my photography, I hope to share with you how I see the world, and all of the beautiful I find.