(Jenny and I have talked about photos that are “just gifts.” This is one of those.)
I am at the library, in the photography section, attempting to look at books while wrangling my crawling, pulling-up, grabbing, busy little 8-month-old boy. A volunteer librarian is helping me. Well, she is trying to help me. I am listening with half an ear as she points out various books and I hold my baby and remember where my girls are too. Did I leave them in the children’s section? I look over my shoulder and there is Ellen sitting in the widow, looking at a book she picked out, titled, “The Tiny Little Baby.” She is beautiful: framed in light, deep in concentration.
I grab my bag, pull it towards me, and reach for my camera. I fumble around, adjusting my ISO, my aperture, my shutter speed — with camera in one hand, wiggling baby in the other. I can barely hear the librarian, now pointing out nature photography books, a couple of aisles away. I click the shutter once, twice. Three times and Wallace starts wailing. The camera goes back in my bag. I scoop him up and follow the sound of the still chattering librarian. “Are you looking for ‘how to’ photography books or ‘photography as art’ books?” she asks me, apparently oblivious to the photographic feat just accomplished behind her back, a mere six feet away.
“Hmm . . . ” I reply, smiling to myself as I gather my children and head for the door. “Thank you for your help. We’ll come back soon — when I have a little more time to browse.”