Athena’s Point of View

I’m having one of those weeks where the mere idea of expressing an opinion about any issue of relevance makes me break out in hives; since it’s a good rule of thumb not to inflict yourself on others when you can’t stand the smell of your own thoughts, I’ve been consequently fairly quiet around here for the last few days. Don’t worry, it’ll pass. In the meantime, let me share with you this collection of photos from my daughter.

Several days ago Athena decided that she wanted to try the digital camera for herself, and while I was initially reluctant, I finally decided that sooner or later she has to learn how to handle expensive stuff. So I let her use it. A few minutes later, in the process of taking pictures, she dropped it down the stairs. But the camera seemed none the worse for wear and Athena subsequently kept the thing in a vise-like grip, so I think it was a pretty cheap lesson in material responsibility. Everybody wins.

It’s kind of fun to look at these pictures because they come from an alien viewpoint, one two feet down and about 30 years younger than my own. The “two feet down” viewpoint is pretty obvious, because many of the pictures are, as you can see, pointing up at something on the wall — an interesting reminder that all the pictures we adults hang at eye level aren’t eye level for some of the people in the house.

The “30 years younger” viewpoint is evident in the subject matter of the pictures. I don’t know that I’d say that Athena’s taking pictures of things that are important to her, but she is taking pictures of things that are interesting to her. To some extent, the pictures show the things she’s curious about or involved in. This is a representation of some of the things that are going on in that little head of hers. And of course, that’s interesting to me as well.

Now that she’s played with the digital camera, she want to keep playing with it, and I’m inclined to let her do it. It’s cheap entertainment for her — it’s not like we have film costs, after all — and for us, her parents, it’s a neat way to get a look at her world and her angle on life. Also, she won’t be five forever — she won’t have this viewpoint forever. Anyone who’s been here knows that I certainly take enough pictures of my daughter that I won’t forget what she’s like at this age. But it might be fun for her to have her own photographic record of this time in her life, to keep that connection with her younger self.

Hopefully one of the things her older self will say is “I can’t believe I actually liked Hello Kitty.” Well, she did. We have the photographic evidence.

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