Startled

This is one of my favorite photos of Anna. It was taken less than a month after she came home. She was still learning to sit up, so she weebled and wobbled and rolled around the floor a lot. My mother reminded me that parents do this kind of thing, so together we dressed the baby up in a new velvet jumper and took her to a studio.

Between the lights and the big black cameras and the fake tree and the photographer crawling around honking a toy horn and the backdrops clattering up and down the wall behind her, it was a noisy and generally inhospitable place. We didn’t stay long and we didn’t send out any of the pictures.

Of course at the time I didn’t know that all children didn’t go around looking, as Anna did, perpetually assaulted by light and noise. I was so caught up with trying to keep this demanding creature alive that I hadn’t properly stopped to consider the whole thing from her perspective, not knowing she’d been liberated from an “orphanage” but only that she’d been yanked from “somewhere warm and recognizable.”

In retrospect, this picture was the perfect snapshot of that moment in our lives.  Just weeks into her new life, Anna looks comfortable enough but watchful, curious enough but wary, game for whatever might be coming next but ever ready to roll.

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Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM  Leave a Comment  
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