Saturday, March 8, 2008

Photo Op

Today's blog is dedicated to Katie, a good friend, a fellow colleague, and the adopted big sister to my sons. Katie has spent the past week with us and unfortunately has to get on a plane later this morning. I met Katie four years ago when she was a new student at the University where I worked. It didn't take long before I realized she was something special - a natural born leader - and someone I would know for a very long time. She is thoughtful and conscientious with a capital "C."

Here's something notable Katie does that is worth sharing. Katie was the only baby sitter my boys had while living in Louisville (I keep trying to convince her to move to Texas). Virtually every Monday morning, after baby sitting on a weekend night, Katie would show up at the threshold of my office door with a framed picture, a scrap booked page, or a small photo album filled with pictures she'd taken of the boys while babysitting. It was the ultimate treat. Because she is the pied piper with kids, Katie snapped GREAT candid shots of the boys smiling as though they'd been offered cake for dinner (hmmmm.... maybe that was the key). Over time, I accumulated a collection of great pictures of my boys... through Katie's eyes. Treats I will cherish forever. She babysat tonight for old times sake while Richard and I grabbed dinner and strolled through Barnes and Noble. In true form, Katie presented us with more great pics...
I've tried to apply this simple act of generosity into my life. Recently I attended a wedding and spent time taking pictures of the ceremony, but also taking pictures behind the scenes. I developed the pictures while the bride and groom were on their honeymoon and left a small album on their doorstep the day they arrived home. While the pictures were not nearly as good as professionally taken pictures, they were a welcomed and more immediate glimpse into their special day. I try, when my kids have parties or play dates to snap pictures of their friends, so that I can pass along photos to their moms. To this day, my mother's favorite picture of me sits on the bookshelf in her room. It is a black and white photograph taken by the son of my first grade teacher on our first trip to the public library. Katie's small act - meaningful snap shots of my most prized possessions - are in actuality BIG sentimental gifts that will last a life time.
As a side bar to this... my creative sister in-law takes pictures of each friend attending her sons' birthday parties and then uses the photos to send thank you notes. It feels more personal than a pre-printed card and serves as a nice keepsake from the event.

Signing off until Monday...

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