Portrait of Play 2018, Week 19

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They always want to put on their swimsuits, and they love pretending to swim. The dolls got swimming lessons, and they all enjoyed some swimming on the big blue blanket.

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Portrait of Play 2018, Week 18

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Oven mitts, easel clips, and a piece of a barn. Sometimes it’s the mix of the found objects right there at your grasp that are the perfect recipe for creation.

I have fallen out of having any sort of organized routine around my portrait project at this point in my life. I have to rely on my impulsive need to capture their moments of play to remember to photograph them at all these days. My impulse to photograph them is strongest in these moments when they are doing nothing and everything at the same time, when the perfect combination of boredom, sibling friendship, and random objects at hand creates the fodder for interesting interactions and creative explorations.

I’m trying to mostly be curious when taking pictures of my children lately, using the lens as a magnifying glass to collect clues into who these people are, wondering if there is anything I can find out that will help them in their own discovery later in life. While I’m struggling to keep up with this project, it has everything to do with the different pieces of life that take priority at different times and nothing to do with my interest in photographing the same people in the same places week after week. I feel like I’ve got a long ways to go before I tire of that.

 

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Portrait of Play 2018, Week 17

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It’s been months since I took these photos, and I don’t really remember anything significant to say about them. However, looking back on them after the fact, I feel more acutely than ever that I wouldn’t trade this life with these people for anything. While I spend a good amount of time lamenting lack of sleep, begging for personal space, and thinking hard about how nice it will be to get through the next couple of years, I know that someday I’ll look at pictures like these and want nothing more than to have one evening playing in the backyard with these little faces. It already hurts to think about.

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Portrait of Play 2018, Week 15

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Well, I didn’t mean to have two weeks in a row of trampoline fun, and actually I think I have scrambled some of my weeks in here a bit. I also never meant to be so many months behind in my documentation. But here we are, on the trampoline, a long time after the fact.

We spend our Monday afternoons with access to a trampoline, and so the kids have learned all of the fun games that come with that territory, cracking the egg, dead man, and several others they have certainly made up. Roland loves to be on the trampoline with them, but his legs often buckle under him, and it terrifies me a bit. All of the eyes-closed games become eyes-opened games when he’s on the trampoline, and really they are all pretty careful with him.

Oh, and it’s interesting to see that Winnie’s leotard phase has been going on for a long time as now 6 months later, she still prefers to wear them everywhere. I’m especially fond of the underwear sticking out.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/kdenke/44162905065/in/photostream/

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Portrait of Play 2018, Week 14

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From back in April…jumping on the trampoline at the Prather’s. Roland wanted to be a part of the fun, but it’s too much work keeping him safe when the big kids are on the trampoline. I go in there and have him sit on my lap, but that’s not where he wants to be, so he wiggles free, and then his body gets flung everywhere with the big bounces of the big kids, so we just hang on the outside.

I’m going to do my best to get caught back up here on this space. I’ve let it take a back seat, along with sleep, and exercising, and other things that I should be doing to take care of myself so I can be nice to my kids during the day. And thus, I’m having a hard time being nice and patient to my kids or myself. Even as I’m typing this I have Roland on my lap eating an apple, and Winnie is standing next to me, grabbing at my neck (my neck is her comfort zone). She just bopped Roland on the head to try to get space on me, and I just screamed. My ability to handle anything graciously has been lost, and I am my worst self most days. I promise I’m working on it. I have been idealizing going back to teaching lately…of once again having an identity. Of getting paid for the work I do. Of time away by myself every day. I know the grass is always greener, and I know this will pass, and I know everything I should be feeling, and I know it’s ok when it doesn’t line up that way.

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Portrait of Play, Week 13

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Well, it’s been awhile. I am now solidly in the part of my life that is defined as life after three kids.

The cousins got some new porch furniture and with it, some pretty great boxes. They decorated them and made separate rooms within them. They were the perfect nook for rest and read (minus the toddler who kept crawling through the rooms). I only had my phone with me to take pictures (which I have been using less and less for photos), but as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Anyways, boxes are timeless play toys with limitless potential, and a whole collection of big boxes is as good as it gets.

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