It’s About Point of View

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Photography post post

Find a way to change your point of view and that will change…everything.

My boy and I creep into the classroom and look all around. We are at a digital photography class—part of a program to get teens involved in the public library. I was so excited when I registered…asked my son to join me and he seemed excited too.

But when we arrive, I see no other teens. There is a room of twenty-something women crowded in the first rows. We slink, find two chairs together…and I begin to worry. We brought our cameras—it said to in the registration form. I thought I would be spending a couple of hands-on hours, side-by-side with my boy, learning more about aperture and shutter speed and how to work with light. The lack of workspace clues me in. The chairs are lined up in rows, so close together my shoulders brush the lady’s next to me. This will not be a hands-on workshop. The lights go down and our instructor fires up the slide projector.

We spend the next two hours looking at wedding photos.

My 13 year old son and I and about thirty young women who want to start a wedding photography business.

I feel a strange urge to laugh out loud at the craziness of it all. He is missing most of the WVU football game to come to the workshop with me. I’m still not sure why.

That’s when she says it.

Find a way to change your point of view and that will change…everything.

She clicks over the slides of unusual shots. A wedding dress hanging in a tree. Bare feet and lace. Airborn groomsmen.

All beauty—frozen in time.

I look out of the corner of my eye at my young son and wonder again why he agreed to come to a digital photography class with his mother in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. On a football day, no less. He catches me looking at him and gives me a crooked smile.

My heart almost breaks.

For a split second he is two again. His red hair flashes bold in the slideshow light and those freckles…how they cover those cheeks. And in those cheeks there is no more baby-fat; his face—now thin—is the face of a young man. The past year, his voice has changed—its deep resonance causing me to pause in the kitchen many nights as it booms down the stairs (who is that man upstairs?), his shoulders have broadened, and he has passed me in height.

He focuses his attention on the speaker, quiet in his long-suffering. He does not complain—just sits—patiently trying to salvage a few moments of the afternoon. I rub his arm, study his profile in the dim light.

All the long days I spent with this boy come achingly barreling forth. His baby voice still fresh in my mind. I remember how he used to touch my face, pull my forehead up against his and lean into me with all the fresh smell of him. I remember how fast his short legs could move and the way he used to press his lips up against his playpen to make the “smooshy face.” I remember long summer days on a blanket under the plum tree—reading together. All the walks we took and rocks thrown in the creek. I remember…everything.

When was the last time we spent an afternoon together—just the two of us?

I study him a few moments more. Savor my secret reconnaissance.

Then I lean over and whisper in his ear.

He looks back at me. Raises eyebrows.


Yeah. Let's get out of here.

And we make our escape.

The best memory of the afternoon is the bottle of root beer at the artsy bookstore and the walk through the streets of Charleston together. I rub shoulders with my now-tall boy, and we laugh and peruse books and taste sweet moments.

We even make it home in time for the end of the game.


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Image by Claire Burge. Used with permission. Post by Laura J. Boggess.