“This is a really good way to raise kids,” my three year old mind whispers, as my Dad and I are walking side by side through a National Forest.
And so I ask him, “what is the name of your job?” to which he responds “I’m a photographer”. I counter, insistently “No! What’s the real name of your job? The exact name?” I wanted to store that title away like a sacred acorn so that when I got married, my husband could have that exact job, and our kids could experience what my brother and I were living, in that moment.
Turns out my Dad was a Kodak photographer, a job which sent us cross country in a red station wagon, to Estes or Sequoia National Parks. All summer, our weekends were spent at the top of mountains, Dad rising at the break of dawn for early morning nature walks…leading a gaggle of photographic students from picturesque scene to scene.
I learned two things from this memory. First, kids are listening, so watch what you say. Second, we are all given gifts, which ironically, we take for granted. I used to feel that the things that came naturally to me, and brought me the most joy fell into the category of “hobby”, and a job was something else, something ultimately less joyful.
The ah-ha moment came 26 years after my insistent question, when I realized that I had known all along what career would bring me joy. I just had to rewire my brain that in my family, the mom would have the job with the camera. I started my photographic business on January 5, 2008, and haven’t looked back a single day.
Okay, I did look back once. Last week, at the pumpkin patch, I couldn’t help myself from recreating another little memory…