Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Tell Tale Dad

While on the Path train yesterday I happened to sit next to a father with his six-year-old son. We were in the front train and the son was watching with rapt attention through the glass as the train moved forward through the tunnel.

"After we make this turn, the train's gonna speed up. See?" the dad expressed to his son as the train did exactly what he predicted.

The son's arm was against his dad's side. This was a real father-son moment. All I could do was smile and create a mental note to take my elder son on the front train next time we trekked into the city together.

What's also interesting to me about this moment is that even though I knew nothing about this father and son, aside from this interaction, it was incredibly evident how close they are. Contrast this with a father and his eight-year-old son that I happened to come across while filming a week ago. They were playing catch at a local ball field and I was excited to get some good shots of them in this iconic setting. I asked to get a portrait of this pair and it was so evident how uncomfortable they were standing next to each other and how much distance lay between them. Needless to say, it wasn't a heartwarming shot.

Kids don't lie. When they are loved, they love and when they aren't...

Anyway, it's little moments like these, good and bad, that continue to fuel the fire for this project. When all is said and done, my hope is that more dads will be on that train, explaining what's coming up around the bend to their kids. It would be a better world.

3 comments:

Jeremy (Discovering Dad) said...

Hey Dana! Hope all is well with you! Thanks for sharing that story - I could see the picture in my mind's eye as if I was there. I love it when me and my kids genuinely connect. I have to admit that it's harder with my teenage daughter, as she seems to be going through a phase of not wanting much interaction outside of her friends. It's hard for me not view her as that little girl laying on my chest and watching The Lion King video. My 2-year-old son is at that perfect stage when he just wants to be loved up all of the time, and he reciprocates automatically. Anyway, thanks for noticing and sharing this!

Joeprah said...

Dana,

Like my boy Jeremy, I too was enveloped by the imagery in your short but telling story. You and your project are very cool and the way you highlight your points via anecdotes and photos is inspiring. I just hope that if we met sometime and I was with my girls you wouldn't think to yourself..."Look at this moron dad." ;)

Dana said...

Joe,

I don't think the last thing you wrote is possible.

Jeremy,

I can't even imagine what it's like to have a teenager as my boys are still so young and needy.

Speaking of needy, gotta go!

Dana