Honest images

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but are they honest?


My beautiful no. 3. I'm afraid she'll have the middle child syndrome. No. 1 is in high school. She's 7 years older than no. 2 and is preparing to conquer the world as all high schoolers should. No. 2 has the typical characteristics of the oldest child. She looks after her little sister and little brother. She's responsible. No. 4 is our baby. Our only boy. He's our little prince.

But this one. How do I define this one? Most things come pretty easily to her, so she doesn't require a whole lot of attention and help. She's laid back. She's independent and creative, so she can occupy herself most days. She's crazy smart; reading and writing much sooner than the first two, so academic praise that we give her doesn't mean a whole lot to her.

She's amazing. But how do I let her know that? How do I help her from getting lost in the shuffle of our every day lives? How do I know that she knows that I love her when she doesn't seem to demand it of me?

In my mind, I celebrate her easy spirit, her imagination and her strong will. But does she know that? How do I get this picture of her - this picture in which I am mesmerized by her eyes and her smile - how do I get it to convey to her what I think of her? How do I get her to understand what I see of her in this picture?

I take pictures to remember when. I hope that she'll look back at this picture and remember when too. But I know that she'll never remember when the way I remember when. She'll never see herself in this picture the way I see her. In that way, I suppose, the camera does lie. It cannot possibly tell the truth about what I see.

A picture is worth a thousand words. So I will take a thousand pictures that, in my mind, capture with honesty and integrity, the beauty that I see in her, in hopes that she will see what I see, and know what I know. That she was never lost in the shuffle of our lives. That she was right where she was supposed to be all along.