Dear Jackson,

April 27, 2010

More than a picture

Filed under: Birth to 1 year-old, Uncategorized — Tags: — aJOHNymous @ 2:55 pm

There’s a particular picture of you that I have stapled to one of my cubicle walls at work.

It’s just close-up picture of you sitting in your car seat. I believe it was taken while we were on vacation in Orlando a few months ago. A few times during the work day I’ll glance over to my right and just stare at this picture for a few seconds while I wonder just what you’re thinking in that frozen moment.

Your face is completely blank and devoid of any discernible emotion. But your eyes—there’s just something behind your eyes. It’s something that perhaps only a baby can know. It’s innocence, I suppose. You don’t yet know the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, or pain and pleasure. But at the same time, your eyes can sometimes contradict that reality. There are times when I’ll look at this picture and see a profound sadness behind your eyes. It’s as if your innocence has been compromised in some way—I don’t know. It sounds foolish, right? Perhaps I’m just projecting my emotions onto your face and interpreting that same image differently based on my mood at the time.

Listen to me—trying to psychoanalyze myself again. And via a picture of you no less.

Still, I sometimes find myself haunted by this picture. From your blank expression, to your buckled in and protected little body, to the yellow WARNING tag affixed to the car seat itself; it keeps me wondering.

I could go on and on about how you have your whole life in front of you and this picture speaks to that, but I won’t. I find myself attempting to do that far too often in these letters. I’ll no doubt elaborate on that topic many more times throughout your life, but for now, I’ll stick with the ‘less is more’ cliché and just let you know how affected I am by this picture.

You may ask yourself why I chose to hang this picture up if it causes me to daydream at work so much. Well, that’s exactly why I hung it up. You’re my favorite distraction, and keeping my eye on your future helps keep me motivated.

It’s really that simple.

To my left are a few of my favorite pictures of you smiling and laughing and looking like the spunky little guy that you are. The juxtaposition of happy on one side and unsure on the other just speaks to my obsession with the duality of the human condition. You can’t have one without the other and I feel like the scale is perfectly balanced this way.

 It makes me feel more…comfortable. Crazy, right?


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