elementary

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Smiley boy. Tiny rocking chair, crunchy leaves in sunshine, and mama. They play. I peek. It's always playing and peeking, all sorts.

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Stealth to catch kids who evade the lens because they are unaware of it (bubbles and worms are more interesting) and to catch grown-ups who are too aware of it. Worrying about what nobody else sees, we flinch in front of unblinking glass. I distract, ask about the way things happened and the things about to happen. Serendipity and readiness and great big leaps. Rings on fingers and babies in bellies and sometimes just a nice day to mark things as they are. They laugh together and forget me just a little, just enough.

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I've been sitting on piles of shoots, not sharing. Keeping everything close—like everything else—because that's the way it had to be for a while. A greenhouse with opaque plastic is a life-giving heat trap. But now to catch up because it makes me happy, catching up in all kinds of ways, when new things are growing lush. Little girls with knots and grassy feet.

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Listen, kids. I am taking a very serious picture of your parents right now. NO CRAZY BUTT-DANCING.

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I always do the posed stuff, the still-life, everyone together. It's the baseline. But it's the strawberry yogurt and chubby folds that tells the story. The way she wants this, and not that, and my turn, and just mama.

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You are beautiful. 

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I like being vague: huddle. This is what they do, four brothers. I'm thinking they always will.

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The last time I photographed these two, they were saying wedding vows at the bottom of a skate park bowl. I love their beginnings, the way they are.

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That thing you're making, wishing, waiting for. Will it be? Will we feed it right and keep it safe and will it walk on its own, really? Will we be okay? More and more with every year: pregnant wondering.

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He knows all you need to know.

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People sick who shouldn't be; things breaking; illusions fading to greasy popcorn and sticky movie theatre floors; the peril of how very little control we have over the things that matter most. The bills and the bulbs that keep going out. But then messing around, trying anyway, what is always plentiful.

Sweetness and love.

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