Tonight my daughter Emily and I visited Alta Bates Summit Medical Center where she was born ten years ago. Emily called the hospital “Magic Land,” because it “gives life.”
Ten years ago today was the best day of my life, because it was the day I started being a father. There is nothing better than being a father. Ten years ago today I also started taking photographs of my daughter. The gallery I created for Emily’s 10th birthday contains about 100 photographs as of tonight.
Today is also the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ American Invasion. (Their first concert was in Washington, D.C. on February 11, 1964.) While I celebrated the Beatles and an R&B musician who inspired Emily’s middle name, I also listened to a George Strait song during my morning commute. When Emily was four, “I Saw God Today” was the CMA Single of the Year. If you are not a country music fan, you could probably write the lyrics by employing country music stereotypes. The song is predictable, and yet… it gets me every time, especially on a day like today.
I photograph my children when they smile, scream, and dance. (My children photograph me too.) During my daughter’s first six months, she smiled often. She was a happy kid until I received a phone call that marked the worst day of my life. We had been a happy family.
Our family struggled, but we struggled together. Emily learned at an early age how to ride an emotional see-saw and still remain composed. She speaks two languages. She dances. She loves her brother. She is a good person. We have been lucky.
I am lucky that I can photograph my children and share these images. I had lost my inspiration about twenty years ago and I almost forgot how much I enjoy photography. I hope that I never lose my love for photography again.
Somewhere I have saved photographs from Emily’s first day at Magic World. I will search for the earlier photos and see if they are appropriate for posting. I will add a note to the Facebook comments if readers want to see more pictures… and if you have Flash, you can see the entire slideshow below or access the link towards the top of this post.
Happy Birthday Emily