Just about 15 years ago, when Josh was a 13-year-old seventh grader, he and I spent two days in Washington, D.C., photographing monuments. One of his Montessori school's seventh grade assignments was a Peace Project, and he decided to create his by melding his burgeoning love of black and white photography with architecture. We reveled together in two days of sunshine and achy feet as we tromped all over the Mall and took the train out to the Iwo Jima Memorial.
I snapped this shot on the steps of the Supreme Court. (Sorry about the flash; what you see is a photo of a photo.) As my new friend Emily and I walked passed the courthouse on Thursday, I was, of course, reminded of that joyous time all those years ago.
It's bewildering, this life. Were Josh not my son, I would not have spent those Saturday hours in an Institute of Art darkroom, both of us absorbed in our own projects. Were Josh not my son, I might not yet have seen the Vietnam or Korean War Memorial. Were Josh not my son, I would not have celebrated a Christmas in France, or delighted in so many delightful days exploring the city of Chicago.
Were Josh not my son, my feet would not have blisters from a day trudging the halls of Congress, seeking to influence mental health legislation.
They say that one gains knowledge and wisdom. I suppose that one does. It's all yours, if you want it. (Which you do not; of that, I can assure you.) I would prefer a couple of cameras, and a boy, and an afternoon of changing light.