Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seeing as a way of Feeling

February 2009, coming back from celebrating her birthday at the movies.

I don't know what most kids want for their birthdays. Whenever asked what she wanted for her birthday, Aurora most often replied : time with you and Nancy. My question was always: doing what?  Anything. At the time, I didn't fully understand what she meant. Or why.

I always thought kids wanted stuff. Things they could play with, enjoy, break, fix and play with some more. I know that much of my childhood revolved around the birthday and christmas gift extravaganza. I remember being scolded once for asking my aunt: What did you bring me? Hmmm. Wonder where I learned that?

Aurora has always had a different take on gifts. She has always appreciated the handmade gifts we've made for each other. She never voiced any deep "need" for some random object the way I would expect most kids to. It has taken a while, but I think I am beginning to understand why.

September, 2008, out photographing cows on our photo-safari


  1. you break my heart a little this morning.
    I just finished a fiction novel written by a woman who was brought up in a cult and punished for writing and reading when she was a kid. So instead she would make up stories in her head they could not be taken from her.
    Why children are subjected to such things is a mystery.
    This makes it all the better that you now have Aurora and that from here on out she can laugh, grow, thrive and move forward.
    Time- it is what I just wished for yesterday when asked what I would do different if I had the chance.
    I wanted more time with my loved ones.
    It is a great gift.
    You have a wise child there.

  2. I wish her wisdom had come with more allotted time and less damage. When I asked her which pictures she wanted to keep from all of the trips she had taken with her mom...Hawaii, Montana, California, ... her response was : Why would I want to remember any of that? I asked her if it was the trip she didn't enjoy or the company. She just looked sideways at me. I asked why she had taken so many pictures on these trips if she was so unhappy. She finally articulated that the pictures were the only way she could share her experience with me. She wished I had been there with her. In my absence, the closest she could get was by bringing back images.

    That hurt.

    Makes me realize how little we can do as parents to protect our children.