ashley-118Venice ashley-116VeniceI’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance, for me, to let kids be kids; to openly explore their environment and to – more or less – take a back seat approach when it’s appropriate. But battling this outlook is an underlying fear I think we all face as mothers; an innate versus society-induced drive to coddle, to protect, and to give our children every ounce of our attention.
Before becoming a mother, I lived without any inhibitions (I’ve probably made my own mother’s head spin all the way around once or twice). I’ve been sky diving twice, I attended big outrageous parties in the middle of the desert that were not – shall we say – legal, I visited India (just Janet and I) and ended up – after many stops at checkpoints that contained several men with not one but two machine guns slung over each shoulder – in Pakistan at a time it was not – shall we say – safe to be there. And those are just the things I’m willing to admit here publicly.
And so, as a mother, I try to hold on to the notion that it’s okay to make mistakes and okay to explore and – more or less – trust the world; And that doing so will build a stronger human being based on the notion that I identify greatly with all I have done in my life and believe deeply that it has shaped what I trust to be a healthy perspective on life and a humble confidence in myself and my fellow man.
I don’t believe in parenting from behind a screen door of mesh made of fear. And yet, as I reflect on things that have happened over just the last year or so, I wonder if I’m really confident enough to practice what I preach because, well, I struggle with my own fears too.
My grandma died just a day or two after I had my spinal fusion. I was in the hospital when I learned that my dad had found her, still somewhat conscious, on the floor in her home office. She was 96 years old and despite her age, it came as a shock to all of us. She showed no signs of slowing down, refused all help, and lived alone completely independently.
When I came home after two weeks in the hospital, I experienced horrible opiate withdrawals. I had been on IV dilaudid for the full time I was in the hospital. If you google dilaudid, you’ll read urban dictionary’s definition: medical heroin. And it’s no joke; it’s something like one chemical compound off of heroin. It didn’t live up to the hype, but I think I was in so much pain that it did nothing more than knock me out and allow me to rest for an hour or two until I woke up in dire pain and repeated the process all over again. By the time I was home, I felt nauseous, couldn’t eat, and was still in horrible pain. Two months after coming home, I did something awful to my neck; so awful that I can say I was in more pain than I ever had been. Meaning it topped two natural births to large babies as well as the pain I experienced immediately post operatively. I laid helpless in bed for about two weeks and got a glimpse of what it would be like to be chronically disabled. A few weeks after healing from that, I got a stomach virus that made me so dehydrated that I passed out – completely – at home. An ambulance took me to the hospital, where I spent another few days loading up on IV fluids.
Prior to moving – as many of you already know – we watched helplessly as Sarah (our dog) got hit by a car. The vision still runs over and over again in my mind. And, more than anything, pointed to the fact that life can change in an instant right before your eyes. Following her death, the way we started talking to one another changed; “Have a fun trip” turned into “Please make sure you drive safely and that the kids are strapped in well”.
Just after moving to our new home, Willy came upon a scene where a pedestrian had been hit just a mile from our home. She flew at least 60 feet. The look on the faces of the two bikers that witnessed it is imprinted in Willy’s memory; I can almost see it myself, and I wasn’t even there.
While in Hawaii last year we got word that Willy’s grandma was in the hospital. Again, it was – more or less – unexpected. She was discharged and placed on hospice care with a poor prognosis. Thankfully, she’s still with us and fighting the good fight.
I came across the loss of the sweetest red-headed boy on Instagram and haven’t been able to shake him, or his family, from my mind. Ryan was three when he chased a Frisbee into the street and was hit by a truck. It was so painful to read about, I couldn’t even muster up a few words of condolences to his family. It hits home, as I’m sure it does for all of us.
And, of course, my recent car accident on the freeway… where all three cars involved were a total loss. I can still see that pickup truck coming straight at me. I wasn’t my fault, though at times I think it would be easier to deal with if it had been; It’s easier to say things like “I’ll never travel that close to the car in front of me again” or “I won’t ever check my phone while driving again” because statements like those insinuate some degree of control. Instead, all I can say is “I hope a truck on the freeway doesn’t fly into me out of nowhere again” and, well, that’s not very comforting — to know that I, or none of us for that matter, have control to stop things that are out of our control is scary.
The sum of all these scenarios points to one brutal conclusion: life is fragile, pain is real, and the paths we all walk are never straight. And these aren’t conclusions you want to hear or face or – dare I say – accept as a mother. We want life to be hardy and safe and dependable so we can let our children off of our proverbial leashes and enable them to make mistakes and learn and grow.
I’m reminded of a quote I recently read over on The Ma Books: “Only later did I come to understand that to be a mother is to be an illusion. No matter how vigilant, in the end a mother can’t protect her child – not from pain, or horror, or the nightmare of violence, from sealed trains moving rapidly in the wrong direction, the depravity of strangers, trapdoors, abysses, fires, cars in the rain, from chance” (Nicole Krauss, Great House). That quote brings tears to my eyes, every time.
I really do believe in letting my kids be kids; I believe in allowing them to make mistakes. I believe in allowing my kids to fall and struggle and learn and grow. My hope is that I can raise them to be independent and confident. But there are cracks in concrete just like there are holes in fences and sometimes little bits of life happenings become weights, each of them stacked upon the other, weighing me down and trying to force me into surrendering to fear.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t have a conclusion that suggests it’s all okay; I only have the truth that it’s not always okay and that things can change at the drop of a hat. I guess the take home message is that you can’t plan your life around unexpected tragedies nor can you plan your life around the idea that everything will be okay, always. So I guess you can dumb it down even further and simply say you cannot plan life; You can merely enjoy the days, the moments, and surround ourselves with those we love with the harsh reality that none of us will be here forever.
Photos by Tish Carlson

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Twenty Five

Souther California Photographer-0491 Souther California Photographer-0503 Souther California Photographer-0518A portrait of my family once a week, most weeks, in 2015
Willy: Spent Father’s Day alone with the boys because I had to work. Also bought himself a new gun, so, well, retail therapy. 
Hoop: Killed a moth, by accident. Then sadly said, “I’m gonna put him here on the rock so he can grow back”. 
Van: Insisted on wearing his backpack into a restaurant because his back “could get cold”. Also insisted on wearing his hiking boots to bed because, well, his feet could get cold. Ooooobviously. 
Me: Plucked three grey hairs. I can account for the birth of each one. I can account for the birth of a million more, I’m just waiting to find them. 
Jimmie: Stayed with my lovely parents while we were in Montana and enjoyed all the extra walks and attention. That’s not to say he didn’t greet us with an anxious / nervous barf… because he did and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be Jimmie. 52weekproject-b

A Disclaimer

Souther California Photographer-9066Sometimes I feel things go without saying, but other times I feel like things need to be stated. For the sake of clarity.
I write this blog for myself. In no way is anything presented here intended to be delivered in the form of advice. Nor am I intending to participate in the my-way-of-parenting-is-better-than-your-way-of-parenting nonsense.
Rather, I share what’s important to me and what resonates with me; Ah-ha moments of motherhood, if you will. The process of evolution and change has always meant something to me, on a deeper level, and I enjoy documenting here so I can remain humble about my journey.
If you happen to read a post where it sounds like I’m speaking to you, please be reminded that I’m only speaking to myself. I don’t write or share with any sort of audience in mind.
On the flip side, if you find yourself coming back here because something I’ve shared has resonated with you, then that’s just the icing on the cake; because we all like to know we’re not alone.
Okay, I feel better now.

What did your mom do?

338A1117-27 338A1118-28My sister recently told me about an elaborate hot wheels themed party her co-worker threw for her 5 year old son. She mentioned staying up late to finish the handmade decorations, complete with the personalized license plates she had made for all the kids in his class.
Don’t feel sorry for me when I tell you that I don’t remember one of my birthday parties before the age of 16. I honestly don’t. I think there’s a few photos in the family albums to show proof that they took place, but I don’t have any actual memories. And I don’t feel any less loved because of it.
I recently read an article by Jen Hatmaker (why she’s an author and not a hat maker, I don’t know) that talks about how “precious” parenting today has become.
She writes, “When I think about upping the joy in parenting and diminishing the stress, I propose that much of our anxiety stems from this notion that our kids’ childhood must be Utterly Magical; a beautifully documented fairytale in which they reside as center of the universe, their success is manufactured (or guaranteed), and we over-attend to every detail of their lives until we send them off to college after writing their entrance essays”.
I think social media has a lot to do with this. Sites like Pinterest can make one feel like cupcakes made out of a box are a piece of shit. If you follow me on instagram, you may remember me bitching about spending some $25 on Hooper’s Valentines for his class; I fell victim to the Pinterest trap. We’re constantly seeing other things moms are doing on Facebook and Instagram; many fall victim to constantly comparing and I think many feel guilty or develop low self-esteem when they feel like they can’t measure up.
Hatmaker states, “Nothing steals joy away from parenting more than believing you are doing a terrible job at it”. She goes on to say that her trick for holding onto the joy and letting go of the stress is to ask herself what her own mom would have done.
I pose this question to anyone reading this post: what did your mom do? What were your birthday parties like? What’d you do when you got home from school? How did you spend your summer breaks? What kinds of things in your childhood do you remember your mom taking an active role in?
My birthday parties were usually in the backyard and the attendees were usually the neighborhood kids mixed with a few close friends from school. I spent much of my after school time at the gym. Gymnastics was my life because loved it. My parents never pushed me. In fact, I can remember them suggesting I call it quits after each broken bone. I also remember them griping here and there about the cost per month. My parent’s never patrolled my homework. Rather, when report cards came and I didn’t do so well in a particular subject, that’s when we’d have a talk. I have lots of memories playing with the neighborhood kids; house hopping and riding bikes and teaching a neighborhood gymnastics class in my front yard, selling lemonade, roller skating in the garage, trying to set a leaf on fire with a magnifying glass, and so on and so forth. It’s not that my parents were negligent or not involved, it’s just the way things were. I never doubted their love for me, ever.
But it’s not really like that anymore. Today, parents seem to think that “chopper” parenting is somehow more beneficial and responsible and that hovering over every move their kid makes is some sort of proof of their love for their child.
I rarely bring my kids to parks, but when I do, I bring a book. Sometimes I actually read it, sometimes I just pretend. But I do so intentionally to allow my boys the freedom to figure shit out on their own. Everything from how to get down from the ladder they climbed up to dealing with other children in both positive and negative ways are things I want them to figure out on their own. The way I see it is like this: It’s my job to teach them in the home how to behave, how to ask for help, how to be kind, etc and then, when they’re out in the world, it’s their job to practice; which includes making mistakes.
I would raise a girl the same way.
Have you ever been mean to someone? I’m sure we all have some recollection of saying or doing something we regretted. I want them to feel that, on their own, without me jumping in. If I notice them not sharing, it’s something I prefer to talk about on the way home, after that presumed shitty innate feeling of being a dick has had time to set in and register.
In reflecting back on her own childhood, Hatmaker writes, “They didn’t worry endlessly, interfere constantly, safeguard needlessly, or overprotect religiously. They just raised us. And we turned out fine… It never crossed my mom’s mind to ‘entertain us’ or ‘fund expensive summer endeavors’ or ‘create stimulating activities for our brain development.’  She said get the hell outside, and we did.”
She goes on to raise some important questions, “Could it be that we are simply too precious about parenting? Have we forgotten the benefit of letting our kids fail? Figure it out? Work hard for it? Entertain themselves? We put so much undue pressure on ourselves to curate Magical Childhoods, when in fact, kids are quite capable of being happy kids without constant adult administration. I would argue that making them the center of the universe is actually terribly detrimental. A good parent prepares the child for the path, not the path for the child. We can still demonstrate gentle and attached parenting without raising children who melt on a warm day.”
I want my boys to be strong. I want them to be able to navigate around all the lemons life seems to toss out. I want them to be self-aware and independent. I don’t want them to melt on warm days, for goodness sakes. I strongly believe that by doing less, I’m doing more. And it’s a relief. I see entire blogs dedicated to featuring spectacular kids birthday parties and I giggle to myself. I think of the sense of entitlement I see so many young people enter the work force with and the dots start to connect themselves. It baffles me that in a time where we’re seemingly doing more than ever as parents, so many of us feel like we’re not doing enough.
Hatmaker ends the article with a healthy reminder that we have everything our children need for success, “…kisses, Shel Silverstein books, silly songs, kitchen dance parties, a backyard, family dinner around the table, and a cozy lap. They’ll fill in the rest of the gaps and be better for it. Your kids don’t need to be entertained and they don’t need to be bubble-wrapped; they just need to be loved.”
I’m constantly reminding myself to let go; to allow them the space they need to explore and to celebrate their independence. Because at the end of the day, they aren’t going to remember the decorations you made for their party or their custom baked birthday cake, they’re just going to remember that they were loved.

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The Dominican Republic

338A5339-1 338A5341-2 338A5347-4 338A5348-5 338A5364-11 338A5376-12I’ve mentioned it here several times in the past, but prior to having kids – or getting married – I did a lot of traveling. Sure I loved seeing new places, but a large part of my motivation was to photograph; it’s always been something that called to me.
So you can imagine my excitement when Willy’s work flipped the bill for us to go to the Dominican Republic. Given the fact the trip was a work function, it was by no means in tune with how I would typically travel and I found it hard not to roll my eyes at certain aspects of the trip.
Like the all-inclusive resort.
In our backpacking days, we used to glance over at the all-inclusive resorts like they were some sort of slice of heaven we were not privy too; with comforts we longed for… like showers that presumably consisted of more than the mere PVC pipe that trickled water over our heads.
Having now stayed at an all-inclusive resort, I can now say with certainty that it’s not something I’d do again and here’s why: the food was horrible. Willy and I had backpacked throughout the Dominican years ago (it’s where he proposed to me, actually) and the food is one of the things we raved about. I’m not an adventurous eater by any means so when I travel I opt for safe things like buttered pasta, but even there simple pastas were out of this world delicious. At the all-inclusive resort, we walked out after taking a mere bite of several meals. I had to spit out the one bite of a hamburger I ate. It was horrible.
The grounds were too big. So big, in fact, that you had to wait for the trolley to come around just to take you to one of the 13 pools (talk about overkill) or the beach. There was a sign on the beach that warned you against walking off the grounds because once you pass the rope you are no longer ‘supervised’. That made me roll my eyes.
The music at the pool belonged in the club. I found it hard to read my “Homegrown” parenting book with Ludacris blaring in my ears.
Out of boredom, we ventured to the ‘theatre’ to watch a Michael Jackson impersonator perform. Watching him made me feel sad; the lip singing was off, the dancing sub par, and the smell of the fog machine made me think I was at a Middle School dance formal.
Forget sunscreen? Don’t worry, the all-inclusive resort has everything you need… everything you need at a price… and a steep one at that. It’s like they know you’re stranded and they take full advantage. We paid $20 for a bottle of sunscreen. All-inclusive, minus sunscreen.
The location did not lend to any local experiences. We were completely secluded and not in the off-the-beaten path kinda way, but more in the behind-the-gate kinda way. Walking off the multi-acre resort was not an option. We paid the steep cab fare of $70 to go to a town 20 minutes away.
I did not take a single photo at the resort because I found it grossly uninspiring. Not one.
There were highlights, of course. Like the fact the door to our room came draped with a sash that read “Feliz Cumpleanos” despite the fact it was neither of our birthdays. And, well, not having kids around provided us the opportunity to truly relax and have adult conversations, so that was nice too. And there was a casino, which doesn’t really tickle my fancy, but Willy made out playing poker and had a new stranger coming up to him each day to remind him how well he did at the tables the night before. And we got to return to the town where we stayed when Willy proposed (Bayahibe), so that was special. I dug up this old post recapping our previous trip to the Dominican, from a ‘Meet Your Parents’ series I used to write…
All in all, as a lover of traveling and experiencing different cultures, it makes me sad to think of all of the thousands of people who were staying at that resort and went home with the belief that they went to the Dominican Republic. Geographically, sure. But in all other components not so much.
In any event, it’s hard to complain about a more-or-less free trip. So I’ll end by saying that the Dominican Republic is really and truly a beautiful country with lively people and terrific food. Just don’t stay at an all-inclusive resort.

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Hawaii, part I

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Things we did while in Maui: Listened to a local sing “going to California” and “fast car” (two of my favorites), after the rain led us into a saloon that’s now on our list of favorites, saw several sea turtles both from the shore as well as from in the water, spent a windy day at the aquarium, bought shell necklaces from a local maker; one went missing immediately and two days later the other broke, ate cream puffs and apple pie from a bakery the locals rave about, put extra sunscreen on burned butt cracks, potty trained Van albeit the time he peed on the car’s wheel in the parking lot and in the tide pools too because, well, when you gotta go you gotta go, ate off of paper plates to avoid dishes, gave the boys one shower that probably led the neighbors to believe we practice Chinese torture (both boys hate showers) and one bath… In two weeks (and no, we didn’t spend a lot of time – or much of any for that matter – in the pool), saw an Elvis impersonator perform poolside for all the retired folk (many of which snapped pictures with him afterwards), witnessed my first selfie stick and I have loads to say about it (namely, what happened to asking the stranger next you to take your photo?), laughed at my horrible English / Australian / anything other than American accent, walked out of Mama’s Fish House just as soon as we sat down and noticed that the kid’s meals were $20 a pop and that macaroni, chicken tenders, and hamburgers were not listed as options, watched Hooper catch his first crab, also watched him cry tears of sympathy when he came upon a dead gecko, packed more clothing than we needed and just barely enough sunscreen, and got on the plane feeling well rested, grateful, and sad to leave.

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Smoothies & Resqueeze

resqueezeWhen Hooper was a baby, I was all about the purees. It’d give me great pleasure to see what I could get away with in terms of sneaking vegetables and other healthy foods into his purees. Willy and I giggle now when reminiscing about my salmon and strawberry concoction. Poor kid.
I eventually gave up on the purees and succumbed to doing all sorts of the ridiculous tricks parents do to try to get their kids to eat vegetables. And overtime, I’ve simply accepted the fact that the only vegetables my kids will eat are corn, peas, and carrots. Van is a slightly more adventurous, but not by much in the veggie department.
I hate veggies, so it’s hard for me to bitch about how my kids eat. I started making myself smoothies recently which consist of the same ingredients every time: vanilla yogurt, lots of spinach, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, ground flax seed, and chia seeds.
That’s when it dawned on me that I can reintroduce purees as smoothies. And so, I did.
There have been more hits than misses, though it’s still frustrating when one day they eat the entire thing and then the next they don’t touch it at all. The other issue, for us, was finding a proper way to serve it. A simple cup proved messy and a cup with a straw required me to water it down to make it smooth enough to flow through the straw.
Both boys love the applesauce and puree mixtures that come in the squeeze pouches, so when Resqueeze reached out to me I was so thankful that someone has come up with a solution. 338A5404-8
Things we love about Resqueeze:
-the pouches are dishwater safe
-they come in two sizes (the larger is perfect for my kids)
-my kids like them
-the clear fill line allows you to see how much you’re pouring in
-the bottom ziplock closure is super durable
Resqueeze has been kind enough to offer a 4-pack to one lucky winner. Entering is as easy as doing any of the following and leaving an extra entry for each to increase your chance of winning:
-Visit Resqueeze’s recipe page and tell me which recipe you would like to try
-Follow Resqueeze on Facebook
-Follow Resqueeze on Instagram
Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Good luck. 338A5419-14

Twenty Two

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A portrait of my family once a week, most weeks, in 2015
Willy: Cleaned out several things from the garage; old door panels we took parts from for the Jeep, an extra windshield, an old weight bench, and several other odds n’ ends. He packed it all up into the back of the truck, where it sat all week. I hoped someone would come by and steal some of it, but I’ve become more and more convinced of the goodness in people because every time I hope something gets stolen, it never does. I thought I’d be writing this update and that the stuff would still be in the back of the damn truck, but lo and behold Willy finally got around to calling a hauling company to come pick it up.
Hooper: Will be starting transitional kindergarten in the fall at a new school. He’s not stoked about leaving his friends and when I confirmed the fact that his best buddy won’t be at his new school he whimpered and told me, “mama, water’s coming out my eyes”. And, it was.
Van: Got upset with Hooper for taking his sticks, declaring “Imma gonna remove your bones and blood”. Also, refuses to eat certain meals and with a plate of food in front of him declares he is “full” and goes on to request a snack in the same sentence. Snacks > meals, in the world of Van. And me, too, if you’re asking.
Me: Hand dyed the dress I’m wearing in this picture because Madewell is not made so well. In any event, my hands would lead you to believe I’m part smurf from all the dying I’ve been doing lately.
Jimmie: Has been officially kicked off our bed due to his middle of the night antics.

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Documentary Review: Surfwise

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 2.50.16 PMAt least once a week, while sitting at my desk at my job, I think about giving up the conventional American Dream (or pursuit thereof) for something simpler, more fulfilling. Sometimes, my fantasies involve selling everything we own and moving to a foreign country where we can buy a house for $50,000. Sometimes, my fantasies involve buying a plot of land and building a tiny home, off the proverbial grid. I know I’m not alone in fantasies like this. Most of us stop and wonder how we really want to live. Some of us are courageous (or idiotic) enough to make huge changes; some of us just daydream.
Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz was courageous (or idiotic). He was a Stanford-educated doctor with a successful career. Well, outsiders would say it was successful. Doc described it as “the lowest point of my life.” He felt like a fraud. He was having insomnia, anxiety, and panic attacks. So, he gave it all up and went on what he calls “an odyssey.” He traveled to Israel and taught people in Tel Aviv to surf. After two failed, stifling marriages, he went on sexual adventures that he describes in a way that kind of made me cringe (My favorite quote of the film: “[Ellen] taught me to eat pussy, and that changed my life a great deal.”).Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 2.50.34 PM
He scored every woman he slept with and decided to stop his shenanigans when he met Juliette. Why? His words: “I was appalled at her score.” They moved into his Studebaker and started a vagabond lifestyle that would last for decades. At the time of the documentary, Doc is 84 and they are still ridiculously happy in their marriage.doc3
Over the years, they had 9 (holy shit) children—8 boys, 1 girl. They all lived in one 24-foot camper (holy shit, again). They moved around a lot—often on the spur of the moment. They describe themselves as gypsies, although Juliette is quick to say, “But we were always clean” (they mention a rule about “clean assholes” that you have to hear for yourself). In their close quarters, the kids often saw their parents having sex. Nothing was private. Nothing.
Doc didn’t believe in them going to school. Their education was in the ocean, on a surfboard. Oldest son David says, “My dad was beaten down so hard by his previous life. He thought the world outside his core family to be dangerous.” So, in a way, they became like a little cult, living freely, never quite sure about their next meals or where they would wake up next. One son jokes that if it was his birthday and there were no gifts, Doc would take him to the ocean and say, “Son, I give you the sea.”doc2doc6
The Paskowitz family became known as “the first family of surfing” and started a surf camp in 1972. At the time of the documentary, the now-grown Paskowitz children still run the camp—some more involved than others. There’s friction about it—and that’s the interesting part of this film.
Doc and Juliette thought (and still think) that they gave their family the most idyllic, romantic existence. The kids don’t agree with this 100%. They are living the repercussions of never having a formal education. Abe, the third son, wanted to be a doctor, but realized it would take him until he was in his thirties to even catch up with basic education, let alone apply to medical schools. Navah, the only daughter, says that the lack of education would have been fine if they lived in the camper forever, but they had to go out in the world; they had to learn to function in a modern society that their father had shielded them from. Most of the children seem “normal” and well-adjusted, but it’s clear there are complicated feelings about their upbringing. David was estranged from the family for years because he tried to intervene in some legal issues with the surf camp.doc7doc5
I don’t think it’s as easy to give the finger to norms as daydreams make it out to be. There are always catches. That’s what I took away from this documentary. “Freedom” is hard to define. Doc thought freedom was shunning the “shoulds”; his kids, it seems, feel constrained by his refusal to embrace some conventions. Maybe it’s about balance, compromise—accepting some less-than-wonderful parts of our society in exchange for benefits of that society.
Doc Paskowitz passed away this past November, at 93. In the documentary, Juliette said he would probably want to have sex on his deathbed. I kind of wonder if that happened (and I cringe). No matter, I don’t think he lived or died with any regrets.
This post is written by: Kim Hooper | Writer

Childhood Unplugged

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The Childhood Unplugged group posts once a month and most months I I have something to share without putting much thought or intention into it being for Childhood Unplugged; we unplug naturally and often, if you will. But this month was a different story and with all of our comings and goings as of late, I realized that we had not been out much… away a lot, yes, but not out… not taking in local nature…
Traveling is two sided in that sense; on one hand, it’s nice to explore new (or even already known) places and on the other hand, waiting for you to return is a long laundry list (pun intended) of things to catch up on. And that’s where we’ve been — trying to stay afloat the piles of dirty laundry, the overflowing trash bins, and the list of things around town we need to do… like register Hooper for transitional kindergarten, which brings with it it’s own scavenger list of ‘to-dos’.
So I shot this month’s Childhood Unplugged post with intent and, for me, last minute. We went down to the harbor and let the kids run and climb and toughen their bare feet.
The boys made quick friends with another little boy and together the three of them explored, had sword fights (of the urination variety), and ran as free as the breeze. We talked with the boy’s father who shared the loss of his wife (she died during childbirth) and it dawned on me that going out and talking to strangers is a lost art. People are so stuck in their own worlds. And yet we all have such important and interesting and captivating stories to tell. All of us.
I won’t be waiting until the end of next month like I did this go-around.childhooduplugged1
Please join me in supporting the other photographers participating in the Childhood Unplugged movement by clicking here to see all our submissions. You can also follow us on instagram (@childhoodunplugged) and be sure to use #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured on our Instagram feed. Please also tag your photos with #cu_mothers and #cu_fathers, as I’ll be taking the feed the weeks of Mother’s and Father’s day.

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