One-shot stories of a journey through childhood

You only get one chance to hold your son for the first time. Photo: Su Leslie

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.

The boy-child in his All Blacks onsie doing his own version of the haka. Olney, England, 1999. Photo: Su Leslie.

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

So, this is my future eh?

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.

Not one split second; but two. Photo: Su Leslie 2007.

Toadstool-jumping, Mt Victoria, Devonport, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2009.

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

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

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 a child for the first time; the moment motherhood became real. Photo: Tony Gray

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:

http://robertweir3.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://northwalesphoto.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/no-passage/

http://jenniengledow.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://mynuttydubai.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://gemmasuckley.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://marsocmom.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://weebitwordy.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/split-second-story/

http://anjaslittleworld.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://gingerbreadandtea.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://visualventuring.com/2014/06/03/street-life/

http://artbea.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://outofofficereplyon.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story-2/

http://overhillsandfaraway.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story-part-2/

http://overhillsandfaraway.com/2014/06/03/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://jimholroyd365.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story-ii/

http://blessingsthruraindrops.com/2014/06/02/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://notsofancynancy.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second/

http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

http://brothertom.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/weekly-photo-challenge-split-second-story/

 

 

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24 thoughts on “One-shot stories of a journey through childhood

  1. Most touching and sweet post,dear Su ! We,mums,have shared the same warm feelings !
    Your post and photos have stirred up sweet memories … Thank you for that !
    Love ❤❤❤ and hugs, Doda 🙂 xxx

    Like

    • Thank you Doda; our experience of parenthood is at once uniquely personal and totally universal. Love to you my friend 🙂 Su.

      Like

    • Thanks; he was so determined to order them because his grandmother had talked about eating snails in Paris. He was such a trouper in the end – he popped them on some bits of baguette and had escargot sandwiches! Hope things are getting better for you; big hugs, Su. 🙂

      Like

  2. The ‘double exposure’ shot is awesome. And the snails shot… priceless. And of course the last shot… ‘the moment that changed the narrative of my life’. so well put. Great post!

    Like

  3. Hi, Su. My apologies, but somehow I missed your pingback to a post of mine from last week (something which I have now fixed!). Thanks so much for the like and the linking back. Your wonderful post and the photos you highlight is a wonderful submission for split-second story. You are so right – children time is all too fleeting!

    Like

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