I was initially not pleased with how this photograph turned out. The figures of my mom and Kemper are sharp, but the trees and leaves in the foreground are blurred, as I was fiddling with my settings to take earlier photographs with my wide angle lens and, candidly, I forgot to change them. When I came back to it after a bit of contemplation, however, it grew on me. The focus of this photograph is and should be my family, and the other blurred features, which seemed like a distraction at first, repose in a secondary position.
This is, I think, a good lesson learned once again from a photograph that has taken on a life of its own. Family is, and should be, the focus.
I keep long hours in my job. When I started, I would get in around 5:30 and leave after 7:00 in the evening. I saw Nora and Kemper very little during the week, and it took a toll on me. Nora was young enough that she changed daily, and getting home after she went to sleep meant that she had changed drastically in a week. Kemper changed, too, but not as quickly. Still, I missed being able to see them each day.
These days, I get into the office around 4:30 and leave around 5:30 or 6:00, and rarely do I miss either of them before they have to go to bed. Nora runs to me now (or at least toddles quickly) and throws up her arms when she sees me. I pick her up and she tells me about her day in her own language that she can only assume I understand. I hesitate to put her down, even to give Kemp a hug, because this is our time. When Anna feeds her and puts her to bed, Kemper and I have our time. We have taken to lying in his bed and talking about both of our days, if for no other reason than to share that my days have their challenges as well. He cherishes these “long talks.” I do too.
My days are long, and I am worn out by the end. I shoulder a lot of responsibilities in the hours that I am in the office, but as this picture attests, family is my focus – even if sometimes I lose sight of this for the blur that is the rest of my life. Indeed, even when I forget to change the settings, the important things remain tack sharp.
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