The moment of parenthood: you only get one chance to hold your son for the first time. Photo: Su Leslie
When we become parents, time is suddenly counted in hours and days. We answer the inevitable “how old is he” question precisely: “five days” or “four months” It took me over two years to start describing the boy-child as “two and a bit” or “nearly five.” Now of course, he’s mainly “a teenager.”
In those first weeks and months of parenthood, cameras (still and video) were dusted off and every moment documented. The boy-child was born a the tail end of the film era and I have hundreds of 4×6 colour glossies of his first few years. When I finally went digital in about 2003, the number of photos of my child increased again — until sometime in his early teens when he stopped spending as much time with me; stopped wanting to be photographed. In the folder on my PC labelled 2014-15, there are exactly 15 shots of the boy-child – spread across four occasions.
In the life of a new-born, baby, toddler, change is constant and rapid; seconds count. Small children don’t pose for the camera or endure long photographic sessions; almost every shot captures a story, a moment that will never be repeated.
Give a kiwi kid an All Blacks onsie, and he’s bound to do a haka, right? (even if he was born in England) Photo: Su Leslie, 1999
The beginning of so much, A small boy and a skateboard; a curiosity that became an obsession. Photo: Tony Gray, 2000
Not one split second; but two. Photo: Su Leslie 2007.
Airborne; a moment of bliss for the still skate-mad boy-child. Photo: Su Leslie, 2009.
Age 8, the boy-child ordered snails in a Paris restaurant, but didn’t expect them to arrive looking like … well, snails. Photo: Su Leslie 2006
Anticipation. The boy-child’s first band getting ready for their first ever gig. Photo: Tony Gray, 2008
The Daily Post challenge was to tell a story in a single frame. I read in the shots above so much of my child’s life and character. I look at the shot below, and see the moment that changed the narrative of my life.
Holding my child for the first time; the moment motherhood became real. Photo: Tony Gray
Here are some other bloggers’ split second stories you can enjoy: