I'm pretty sure anyone who has more than one child can relate to this on some level. Trevor's my oldest, he was 9 when Nick came along and handled it like a champ. Nick was *just* three when Liv came along and hasn't been as willing to "share" over the course of the last two years. As far as he was concerned - HE - was the baby and she took me away. Poor little guy. They've had more of a tolerate-hate relationship than a love-hate one.
Now that she's getting bigger she's entering that "You are my idol" stage. She thinks Nick is top dog around our house. Every single thing he does (good OR bad) she wants to do. She's talking, running, jumping, playing, role playing, etc. She's becoming "fun" (from a 5 yr old's perspective). Still, Nick was slow to warm up. Olivia's first little kiss was to Nick. To which he responded with "ewwww!".
The last two days have been real milestone days for these two. Suddenly Nick is realizing how cool a little sister can be. "Look Mom, I made her laugh!" ... "Watch Mom, she's copying me!!" ... "Let's race to the car!" I can not express how GOOD this makes me feel inside. THIS is what I wanted when we decided to have two close together. Friends forever. A Big brother to go to school with who will look out for his baby sister and scare off any prospective boyfriends for us. ha ha
Tonight they were role playing. Nick was spiderman with the mask and web shooting gloves. Olivia was spidergirl with the white fuzzy snow cap and fuzzy mittens. In the midst of all of that Liv walked up to Nick and said, "Hug?" At first he looked slightly annoyed to have to quit shooting her with his web gun. But then he decided to oblige. I happened to be snapping pictures of them playing and I'm SO glad I was. We do Eskimo kisses in our house, it was something my Mother did with me as a child, and I now do with my own children. After that hug Nick decided to let Liv into his inner circle. He leaned over to her and said softly, "Eskimos." and they kissed noses.
It's moments like this that make me truly appreciate photography and what it can do for your soul. Not to knock point and shoot cameras because capturing the moment is THE most important thing and believe me when I tell you I have plenty of snapshots in my albums.
When I look at a photo, I look at it with my heart AND my eyes. I don't just see faces and smiles. I see light, I see shadow, I see hearts, I see little souls. That is what I love, it's what drives me, inspires me, and what nourishes my soul. It's not about simply capturing their reflection, it's about preserving a little piece of who they are. In my opinion, the flash of a point and shoot would not have caught this emotion, the light coming through between their little noses, you would not have been able to feel the connection, or have been able to zero in on them and send the rest of the room into darkness as if they were the only two on the planet. It's more than snap and shoot. It's emotion, it's timing, skill, and a little bit of luck, it's learning to control the camera so that the image produced can show others what you see.