I want to talk just a minute to the parents of the children in the upcoming dance recital. Your children are on my mind...mostly because I have spent hundreds of hours on this Keepsake program for you. I wanted to share a thought or two about this body of work.
I have recently had an opportunity to study under one of the greatest photographic artist of our time. He was doing the cutting edge work that I love. He shared some very wise advice to me from his years of experience. He said…”Everyone will not love your art. Just like everyone will not love your cooking, your choices in clothing nor even you. That’s okay. That’s what makes us all different and especially from a photographer’s point of view, different is what keeps us alive.” I’ve sent him a couple of the examples of this body of work to see what I was doing WRONG with them. I’ll have to be honest…he was so very excited because he had not thought of the practical application of applying the work we did in class to the commercial aspect of a program. With that in mind, I continued. SO… You may not like the artwork, but I hope you at least can appreciate the efforts made to do something very different for your child. I hope that I bring this aspect to all my photography and again it is with the understanding that I’m not for everyone. I’m not trying to be.
You dance experience here with Applause Dance should be to broaden your child’s horizons. As a former dancer myself of over 11 years, including a very short career in college that I would rather forget and a mother of 2 daughters that have taken dance class when we could, I understand all too well the extreme sacrifices that you make. The time spent just transporting your children back and forth to class, as well as the other 2 children that had ball practice….WHEW…I had 4 under 16 at the same time which meant…yeap, I drove everyone from cheerleading twice a day, to football the same day at two different places, travel softball… (Kill me now…) Volleyball and cheerleading at the same time, scholars bowl practice, bible school…no wait I thought we were sleeping past 6 this morning. We lived way out in the country. The gas bill for the 4 to 5 trips a day some days was more than the house payment. I remember thinking….”Please lord…I just need a break!” No vacations because one of them was always on some kind of “All Stars,” which lasted all summer. Why can’t an infant wash his own clothes, hey if I nurse this one till he is 3 then, I at least don’t have to pack a bottle to sit in a gym…right? AND he can’t complain that he will NOT eat the cheeseburger because someone put the green garnish right beside it on the plate and then just when everything was settling down, the oldest one and the meanest one…licked the top of the darn bun of the one that wasn’t crying…chicken sandwich. WHAT THE HECK…and were did that come from…what do you mean he is breathing your air…..How do you know…What is that smell coming from the backseat…the dog did WHAT to the baby’s diaper? A DANCE RECITAL….NO….Do you know how much 5 costume cost? Could we NOT just reuse the one we reused again last year again? I mean I have to purchase some kind of $100 shoe for the mean one because just to spite me she let her foot grow another size between the time we tried OUT for cheerleader practice and made the squad….Yes…..? And the CAMP…WHAT CAMP…It cost WHAT? I have to send how many gifts a day….I’m NOT making a poster for the door. Someone has lost their mind giving them an Algebra test on a Monday morning…Where is that teachers number…..If that guy doesn’t sit down so I can see in the bleachers, I’m going down there and knock him out with this Lego man OR the naked Barbie doll missing her right hand because “TYSON” the new puppy used it to teethe on…let it go it was better than my ONLY good table leg. I had a 6 month old with the Lego man and a 3 year old with the Barbie, an 12 year old batting and a 14 year old making moon eyes at some hunk that I’m SURE is 18….not happening today, where is his mama, I’m going to NIB THIS IN THE BUD. All this in the span of 10 flat seconds running through my brain. Including…what’s for supper and I don’t remember what sift my husband is on…do we have to be quite when we get home…..or can we fight over the remote.
This past week…I watched as my youngest one walked across a stage and got a high school diploma. My house is quite now, there are no more carpooling days to 10 places at once, on one pulling at my pants leg looking up at me with need and Kool aide stained teeth. No more all the things that wore me out. That kept me young. That aged me. That lifted me, the smiles of a job well done, hand prints on paper that tug at the heart with their clever sayings. There will be no more football Friday nights, Go #10…OMG my daughter just got state MVP … All those things that I HOPE I have instilled into my children as what parents do…because LORD knows right now, it’s all about them…My Mama and Daddy made those sacrifices for me, it WAS ALL about me and it still was till my Mama died a few years ago… so I learned it by example. It was to be much later in life before I was able to fully understand what loving someone else more than you loved yourself meant, the difficulties my parents faced raising me and my older, meaner brother.
So…with all this being said, believe me when I tell you….Been there done that. And believe it or not, it is a blessing to be there. Sometimes you just don’t get the blessing till you are standing in the hallway in the quiet hours looking into the rooms where the beds are made perfectly, the toys lined on bookcases and shelves waiting for their owners to return. They never return you know…and the pictures of the little Boston terrier with the twinkle in his eye and the Barbie fingers in his mouth….all gone now.
Please let me know if in any way I can help you. I’m in the memory business…and we do have payment plans. Really we do…see Dain about it…Memories are priceless….images capture those priceless memories. This dance recital is one of those.
God bless you and keep you and the ones you pray for with your last breath at night ... safe and whole.