What's not in a photo can be more telling than what is right before your very eyes. Or even the eyes of the photographer.
The kid has a hand-me-down, no connectivity BB. It has old point-in-time statuses (she likes the avatars) and the ring tones work. Of the 643 pictures left on the media card, she chose this one for her screen saver.
Taken by me this fall, this is a picture of my daughter and her friend walking through a local corn maze. The kid is on the right and the friend on the left. You can see the sun and the shadows and guess by the fleece jacket on the friend, that there was a slight fall chill in the air.
I am not in the picture. I am taking the picture but even with the camera down, I am a few steps behind. I am close enough that my daughter could see me yet far enough away that I was not right beside her.
There's more that you don't see.
The husband was hunting (or was it fishing?) so it was girl's weekend at our house. The kid and I came to the corn maze the day before on our own. It was a treasure hunt sort of a maze. You find the first number in the maze, answer a question, and based on the answer you select, go either left or right to find the next number. Answer all the questions right and you find your way through the maze easily. Answer any wrong and you can get lost. We got lost and spent enough time in the maze that afternoon to know the twists and turns pretty well. The kid enjoyed it so much, she wanted to conquer the maze again.
When we returned the next day, she entered the maze with confidence and a friend in tow. The two met at daycare. It was a bumpy start but they worked things out and now, even though they are a grade apart and in different schools (elementary and middle), they are good friends.
You can see the girls but you can't hear the laughter or the stalks rustling as they run by. You don't see that this is the first time the friend had been to a corn maze and how happy my kid was to be able to share this with her.
You can see the friend looking back at me with her arm around my daughter. Was she telling me she was going to take care of the kid for the next few minutes . . . or was it that she wanted to make sure I was close by just in case?
I don't know. It was a moment in time caught on a digital media card and I read too much into things.
I do know that my kid is growing up. I am in her orbit now and tomorrow I may not be. She will meet people who will adore her and people who will not. She will love and she will hurt. She will be brave and she will shy. I know I am going to have to trust others to take care of my little girl when I am not with her and hope that my husband and I are raising her well so she can take care of herself.
What's behind this photo?
There could be a whole lot more or even nothing at all but what really matters most is what's right in front of me.