We are expecting snow this weekend, reminding me of photos I took of my son last winter - pictures that capture a season of play, but also a time in life when he was moving out of this very special capsule of time that we had created together - his years of being home with me. He is wearing the same coat this year, but the boots don't fit and he has outgrown the rest. The hat and gloves and pants are folded up in the basement waiting for the second child that I still pray to have. Long Island was covered in snow for what seemed like three months last year. We spent more time inside than usual. Hot tea, warm almond milk… Raffi Radio on Pandora… in a few weeks I would be registering him for kindergarten and he would be gone "all day". Time was slipping away… I took a lot of pictures to try to preserve what is intangible and fleeting.
He spent hours each day deep in imaginative play. For the first time he was really lost in his work as a child. He was in a different place from me, though I sat right by him on the same floor. He was a sailor, a knight, a fox on a boat… He was a superhero, a baby, a world explorer… I was invisible, in the corner, capturing Quiet and the smooth sound of wooden toy moving across wooden floorboard.
I am very introspective all winter. It is my way of hibernating. I go inside and get quiet. And the light is like that through the windows, quiet - while nature is asleep on the other side of them.
I was 40 and just starting to feel like a real grown-up… and at the same time becoming acutely aware of time. I am in a place now, a year later, of trying to hold onto things that I have no control over. Mainly my son's growing away from me. And so I take his picture. It is my "woobie" right now, my security blanket.
And so it has been a year. And he IS gone "all day". And I am alone in the quiet light of winter. Working on pictures and learning more, as he is having his own time at school. Sitting down at my computer today, I found these images, some that I had not worked on, some that I thought were "throw aways". They are gems to me now. I get the housework done while he is at school and we have time together to just Be. Last year I knew that I couldn't keep him little. And this year I am learning that I wouldn't really want to.