In the last week, two of the chicks have sent me a link to the same blog – one in which a parent posts pictures of his or her child crying, and writes funny captions describing the reasons the child is crying.
I laughed out loud at the first and second entries, then chuckled at the third. But as I kept going, I found myself increasingly uncomfortable. And sad. I felt badly for that smidgen, weeping so deeply at the injustices of his little life.
I stopped reading, opened iPhoto, and went looking through our thousands of pictures for shots of our sons crying.
There aren’t very many. Almost all of them seem to have involved an adult trying to force a snapshot on a chick who had better things to do.
The dearth of pictures of our chicks crying is not because there wasn’t a lot of crying in our house. We had all manner of crying: wails, moans, whimpers, shrieks and even the cry-so-hard-about-getting-new-shoes-you-puke-all-over-the-floor-of-the-shoe-store variety.
I wondered if we had missed something in all our years of picture taking. Scrolling through the shots of smiling, adorable faces, their childhoods do look pretty dang idyllic, devoid of tears. Did we, I wondered, do them some disservice by not recording the totality of their childhood experiences? Did we whitewash it so we’d look good, looking back?
Maybe so. But I think what happend was this: when one of them started to cry, we’d put down the camera and pick them up.