And here is my darling Joseph at his personal moment of unparalleled happiness, and what equates to "play" the most to him: tinkering with something new.
Photography-wise I was unprepared, because I hadn't thought of this idea for play until I saw cute little Joseph sprawled all over the kitchen floor with this new contraption: a single gear bike he is getting for his birthday.
The bike's stunningly smooth and shiny black lines, the intricacy of the spokes and the chain, and Joseph's intense gaze I thought would make for an interesting illustration of "play."
But geez, the photos aren't really what I pictured, just kind of awkward and badly composed and focused. Which makes me happy I attempted this, because the semi-failure opens my eyes to the real depth of understanding photographers need to come up with spectacular shots: a grasp of human psychology, story line, character development, and of course all the necessary artistic mechanics such as camera logistics, and ability to interpret live action into a two dimensional model.
Photography be hard, y'all!
What I wanted to say with these pictures is that Joseph takes so much after his dad, a true tinker and lover of all things fashioned. This bike arrived in the mail yesterday, and although it is for his twelfth birthday next week, he is absolutely tortured by either surprises or suspense, so we allowed him to have it and assemble it on arrival.
He pulled each part out of the box with the greatest revelry, his mechanic heart had been pining for one of these sleek gadget bikes since the first time he saw them racing around downtown Orlando. A bike just waiting for play, and tinkering and customizing.
Joseph never even cracked the manual, only looked at the photo on the front a couple of times for reference, and cried at one moment because he couldn't figure out how to adjust the break pads. And then he set his mind to it, staring at the pieces for minutes at a time, and grew elated as it all fell together in his understanding.
...A few last adjustments before he headed out the door, and then returned and did a few more, and well, this lasted for awhile, really. But all of that was play to him. Hate to say, but this is probably more his idea of fun than actually riding it.
Thanks for the fun, Cari! Forgive the excess pictures, but that is just what happens when you don't get that one perfect shot.
One more thing, when all else fails in photography, pull a Warhol: