I mentioned in yesterday's post that along with my Project 365, I'm also participating in a Project 52, which basically assigns a photography theme to each week of the year. It's nice to have some ideas.
Week 2 of this year was "House on Fire".
The irony of this is that just recently, my 5 year old has been asking a lot of questions about what we would do if our house caught on fire. They've been talking about fire safety at school and while I know it is most definitely a neccessary conversation, it breaks my heart that her eyes have been opened to the possibility. It feels like a tiny bit of her innocence is stripped away every time something like this is brought to her attention. Fires, car crashes, death, stranger danger. It's daunting.
So anyway, the assignment was to take 10 minutes and collect everything you possibly would want to save and then photograph it. (The assumption is that everyone else would be safely out of the house).
You would think that as a photographer, my instinct would be to collect the pictures, right? Well, they're all the cloud.
In reality, there are likely a bazillion things that I would collect if I had 10 minutes but honestly, none of them are as dear to me as my childhood teddybear.
He was given to me when my parents came back from a vacation where my brother and I had been left with my grandparents (I think). I don't remember getting him. I just remember that I always had him. I hugged him and carried him around his neck until the stuffing moved out of it completly so now his head just flops over sideways.
I gave him to my daughter a few years ago. I could have sat him on the shelf in her room to make sure he'd stay whole, but that's not where his magic lies. He brings comfort and love. I gave him to her when she started having bad dreams. I told her that he carries so much love in him that he'll protect her from nightmares or comfort her if she has one. His long limbs and crazy shape are perfect for letting you know he's there by your side. His fur is matted down and his various appendages have been sewn back together more than once. His eye is loose and desperately in need of a little love from Doc McStuffins and he could use another appointment with the needle and thread.
"Mommy, if the house catches on fire, will I have enough time to get Bubba?"
My voice caught in my throat and tears sprang to my eyes. She was crying. Just the very thought of losing him was too much for her. It was too much for me too.
I wanted desperately to bring her comfort and to tell her "Yes. We'll save him." but I couldn't risk it. I couldn't offer her that piece of solice. Five year olds are too literal. Instead I said "There is nothing more important during a fire than getting out safely. We'll make sure the firemen know to rescue him, ok?"
The next day "House on Fire" came up as the assignment.