Thursday, November 17, 2011

About a girl

Have I mentioned how much we love using disposable cameras in our house? (I know ... just typing the word disposable makes me feel guilty and robber baronish.)

But Cowgirl loves having her own camera to use and so it has become a kind of tradition that for every major event, she receives a camera to document the day.

She has also misplaced many a disposable and I've had to run out and buy a new camera when we couldn't find the camera that always seems to have 15 pictures left.

Which is how we came to discover TWO partially used cameras - the contents of which were a mystery to us. A few days later (after no apparent event worthy of documenting in film) Cowgirl presented me with one camera ready to be developed.

I think my favorite moment is when I am sitting in my car holding the packet of just-paid-for developed pictures. I always hesitate for a moment - should I wait and let Cowgirl be the first to gaze upon the wonders?

I never wait. The temptation is too great; the experience is akin to lifting off the top of her head and seeing exactly what lurks inside her mind. I mean, what parent doesn't gaze upon their child and wonder "What is going on in that brain?" (I guess I could say the same about the dog, although I have a good idea it revolves around food and tummy rubs.)

This is what lurks inside:

Some facts about my girl (those tidbits I think I will never forget but have discovered do quickly slip away as they are replaced by equally fascinating and often bizarre new tidbits):

In her next life she will be a cheetah. (I know that is a jaguar; she loves all big cats and I imagine this homage was made with the intention of commemorating her passion for all wild things.) She has directed me, upon dying, to "wait for her" and then we will come back together as cheetahs. I guess I am suppose to go into limbo or perhaps be a friendly ghost until she joins me? (In subsequent lifetimes she will be a Transformer. I have not been invited into those lives.)

She loves her friends. She continues to amaze me with her very social nature. She is outgoing, adventurous, generous and forthcoming in ways I could never have imagined myself being at 7 let along 37. (At 47, maybe ...)

She loves her dog. He is the only little brother she will allow in the family. She tattles on him ("Moose is licking the floor!"), bosses him about, dotes on him (when she is in the mood) and in general ignores him in person and celebrates him in her artwork and stories.

Cars are people. Cars have complex lives and adventures. She wishes we had named her Hot Wheels.

She must have been a penguin in a previous life. She has a penguin baby now and I am its grandmom.

And the biggest mystery and greatest miracle of them all? That this is what she sees every day

and she still loves me immensely. Yep, just as I am.

I dare you ... peering into the mind of a child you love ... it's a wild and wonderful place.

But be prepared to be baffled and a little concerned ...

(a prize for the best guest as to what this is?! I have a set of 5 newly printed postcards from some of my paintings which I will give away next week for the best answer. Help me unravel this mystery! Comment or email me: lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net.)

FYI: the camera developed had pictures from her birthday party last year; the top photo is her using that very camera!


  1. I love these! My girls love to take pictures too. They both have their own simple digital point and shoots (which often disappear, causing major searches throughout the house) and are constantly walking around taking random pictures. It truly is interesting to see what they come up with! And you are very correct; it is a great insight into those little minds of theirs.

  2. it would be fun to see what a child would choose to photograph! i think the mystery picture contains grass, green and dry. on something blue. maybe. :-)

  3. Ha - I've done the exact same thing in the car after picking up photos. wait for Max? NAAHHH - look RIGHT NOW! Really enjoyed these pictures and your commentary. That last one looks like a lizard head to me.

  4. LOL -- i remember as a child, my Mom HAD to be the first one to look at the new photos. It was a crime punishable by Something Very Severe if anyone else peeked first. a bit control-freakish, i realize that now. (not that i'm suggesting that's your motive...that's just my lovely mother and her beautiful dysfunction. i'm quite sure my own kids will have similar comments to make about me!)

    being something of an expert on weird-photo identification...Savannah has a penchant for leaving surprises on our camera....i'd say that's a yarn-grass hairball that was vomited by your house-cheetah.

    you probably haven't seen your house-cheetah, i believe they're only visible to the under-10 set. i imagine Cowgirl snapped this photo to provide you with evidence should she ultimately be accused of raiding your Nutella stash and leaving a trail of Animal Cracker crumbs out to the garden.

    i could be wrong.


  5. Wow, what an interesting post! As someone who works in education and is constantly thinking of ways to engage kids in the classroom, I have to say that giving her her own camera to document her world is such a fabulous idea! And you know the lingo they would use to describe her photos being posted on your blog to be seen and have people wonder about and comment on? An "authentic publishing opportunity." :) Fancy lingo, huh? Anyway, they have found that when you give kids assignments that involve being published, *for real*, and not just graded and stuffed away in the teacher's folder, that it really lights up the assignment in a new way. I know, duh, we *all* like it when our stuff is published, but it's kind a new concept to hit the classroom because it's so cheap and easy to create publish their stories, art, and writing via blogs and websites.

    Okay, so the last photo looks like a box of grass to me :)

    Thanks for such a neat post and lots to ponder!

  6. Oh wow, your girl certainly has a talent for framing shots :) I remember the joy of disposable cameras, never quite knowing what I was going to get and oh, the anticipation of that envelope!!! Am feeling rather tempted to go and purchase one now :) I did a photo course with children at my school last year and their fresh perspectives were incredible. I love how every one of us sees the world in a different way, and the wonder of a child's perspective is awe inspiring.

  7. Love this post! So much goodness here, as always:)

    I, too, vote for box of grass. Would have thought it related to the diorama, but the color doesn't exactly match...

  8. I love this post. It's wonderful and inspiring as always. I love the the tiny tooth looks like a pearly heart in your hand.

  9. HAHA - I will refrain from a guess as I've already been blessed by you, but I had to share: "Hot Wheels" lives an amazing life. :) Thank you so much for sharing these...