You know I spend a lot of time with little people. My littles don’t read this column and some can’t even read yet at all. After being their photographer from birth throughout their childhoods it’s not really a shoot when they see me…it’s a visit where they get to spend quality time with their “Auntie A” and while I am capturing them we get a lot of other things done like eating cookies that I have baked or making some art for my refrigerator or sometimes I get asked some very important questions that they have on their mind.
I’ve thrown parties for them for years and now as my garden has grown you should see their little eyes light up when they see a cucumber growing or a bell pepper. The ending of the school year this year brought to my attention just how much I mean to them as they have arrived and started asking me if they could come over this summer and learn how to cook, draw, paint…even this special request of “making pink play dough and then create little piggies.” They have no idea how busy their Auntie A really is as when we are together it is always about them. Gosh knows I just love that there’s a tiny soul in the universe that wants me to make play dough and little piggies! All of their requests made me realize that for them I have become a destination and someone they trust and want to learn from and spend time with.
Sometimes I ignore the little winks but when one request turned into many requests it kinda became obvious that something was being requested of me from a higher power. What’s more this got me to thinking really hard about my legacy and not in terms of taking their pictures. Then as if a shout from heaven, my own son then asked if “I would please video tape myself making crafts and recipes so your great grandchildren will be able to watch you being you and come to know who you were.” That really sealed what I had already been knocking around in my head. There’s nothing like getting an additional nudge from the universe to nod a GOD WINK that I was definitely on the right track.
I also got to thinking about how many mothers and sometimes the daddies too would ask for a recipe or a gardening tip or some opinion of mine that they valued about parenting or just living their own sweet lives. And then it happened… the Mr. Roger’s documentary crossed my path and as I watched with Brian right in the middle he paused the movie and said “You know you are just like him. You need to do something for the children that they can watch instead of that Shark cartoon or play video games. Something that they will show their kids when they are our age and tell their families not only about the images they will still have hanging on the wall of their childhoods we captured together but a real story about spending time with this wonderful Auntie A.” THAT WAS WHEN I LISTENED. B doesn’t have a lot to say, and those of you that know us know that might be just him and it might also be that I have so much to say he can’t get a word in HA!, but when he speaks he has thoroughly thought through his ideas. He doesn’t think out loud like me at all and so I knew when he vocalized what he thought and it matched what I had been thinking we were on the exact path and knew the direction to take.
Taping me will not be easy cause there are days that I am shooting and writing and at my computer planning vacations and not what I call my “cute days.” I will have to sacrifice and buckle down and throw on some makeup along with my signature wig but I am dedicated to doing it. I’m going to cover everything from being kind to reading excerpts from this column to cooking and art and so much more. I am calling it after this column “Living the Sweetlife with Auntie A.” I was not lost and now found but I sure do feel like I have found another calling and purpose for my life. I am doing it for the children because they have asked me to and for future children that need to know how to live their own sweet lives!
Take Care of YOU!
Are you with a little that would love to spend a day with an artist? Some of the episodes we are planning will include interactive cooking, gardening, art projects, photography projects as well as candid talks for older guests about community service, prepping their resume for college entrance and hot topics age appropriate to the children at that time. At the center of it all is the common theme of living your sweet life while sharing and caring for our world and those around us.