Shawn and I had a conversation the other night about lasts. Often, as parents we talk about firsts. First smiles, first steps, first words. But what we don't think to talk about or even remember are lasts.
In an attempt to explain to my husband why I'm so passionate about documentary photography, I asked him when was the last time he lifted our oldest daughter onto his shoulders. He sat for a moment and then looked at me almost panicked and said "I don't know!"
I distinctly remember the first time he gave her a ride on his shoulders. She was 8 months old, we were at the beach. She had little pink shorts on and a sun hat, chubby bare toes curled in delight and Shawn's big hands firmly grasping her ankles so she didn't pitch backward. She didn't yet do that thing kids do where they claw at your eye sockets in an attempt to find purchase and hold on. (have pictures of that too...) Instead her little arms were spread wide, bouncing with each of her Daddy's steps as she happily blew raspberries and we laughed together as a little family of 3. That memory is firmly etched into my brain, aided by pictures and a short little video that's somewhere in the depths of facebook. But for the life of me, I can't remember when she last rode up there...
We don't realize when lasts happen. We don't recognize the last piggyback. We don't see that in our hurry to get our babies to go to bed without fuss that we forgot to remember the last time we rocked them to sleep. We don't notice the last time we hold little hands while little feet are clumsily learning how to go down the stairs. Lasts just happen. They aren't announced or shouted out to the world or even brought to our attention.
I love that my babies are so well documented that I can look back at all those moments that seemed insignificant and see the lasts before they happened. As a photographer I have the ability to freeze time, to go back, to relive and that is what I want to give to my clients. I want to give them the memories they didn't know they were missing.
What lasts are happening in your life right now?
"The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do." -Andy Warhol