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Stolen Moments.

I had the most intense dream on Friday night. You might already know that this isn’t rare for me. Every dream I have, especially while pregnant, is extremely intense. So I have to filter out the ones that have that special something and I remember them…maybe forever. This was one of those dreams.

In it, my father was able to come back to life for one whole day. At first I thought, “Only a day?” Then I thought, “A day! A day!” He never even got to see me turn four in real life. He came close but fell short of it two weeks ahead. This was different. 31. With an inspired husband, a pretty amazing granddaughter, and another grandchild on the way. I could feel the approving kicks and flutters of my second baby throughout the dream. I wonder if it was happening in real life too. We were all part of a caravan of sorts – my mom and sister were there, of course, as well as various people from Cassidy’s family and from my life. Some things were strange. My father was somewhat blonde and blue-eyed and let’s just say there’s a reason that I have thick, dark hair and that Scarlet has such dark eyes since no one else, including me, has dark eyes. Also, my ex was along for the ride and his deceased father also came back for a day. His father was talking about suffering from acne as a kid and I’m pretty sure that’s not how my ex’s father would choose to spend his first and last day in this present.

We had limited time and we knew it. As in Inception, buildings and the world would collapse around us when our time was over. Everything was heady and beautiful. Lush green surroundings, mountain roads, ocean passes, moose (of course), wolves and whales. Motorcycle rides. I showed my father what an iPhone was. He was pretty floored. On our gentle, sloping motorcycle ride, I rode as a passenger behind Cassidy while my father rode as a passenger behind my mom. He turned around and grinned at me, both greenery and ocean behind him. This was clearly California. I did what I always do when inspired – I reached for my camera. I was so excited to “trick” the system. Adulthood captures of my father. Stolen moments from a miraculous, impossible day. And against beautiful scenery, no less! So I aimed and…nothing. My camera wouldn’t work! I tried every setting, changed the battery, dropped the damn thing in the road, only to have to stop and pick it up and then it was worse off. I couldn’t take a picture of my father. This is often a theme in my nightmares but this was beyond that. Even after I woke up and looked at my camera, the one that has never failed me in real life, I gave it a really dirty look.

The world began its crumbling. Our time was almost over. I got a few pictures, some out of focus and some cut off, but real all the same. Vivid and there. I did succeed, but it was really frustrating to get there.

It made me take more pictures in real life since I had the dream.

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These moments, these ordinary moments, started to look differently to me. They’re extraordinary.

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The first moment she looked out her new bedroom window to find a world of snow. Somehow early in the morning, I had the foresight to sneak in with a camera, whisk open her curtains, and shoot, shoot away.

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(She pretty much picks out her own clothes these days.)

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Laughter, joy and ecstasy. Happens every day, all day, around these parts. Often these moments go by without being photographed. Not always.

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(I feel like this a lot.)

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(And this.)

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“What color are my eyes, Mama?”
“Scarlet, I gotta tell you – I haven’t the slightest. Err…I mean, rainbow. Rainbow colored.”

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Scarlet, Amma and “Mama Mum” snuggle to watch “Caillou.”

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Magical moments are everywhere. Like in back rooms of parties, where you hear the squealing laughter from far across the house and make a mad dash through throngs of people to see what you’ll find:

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Then there are the moments that really, probably shouldn’t be photographed but then you think, “What the heck? This is what I do! She’ll hate me one day for far worse than this.” And like I said, she dresses herself. So what if she puts herself in 3T jeans??

Then there are the moments in which it’s 7 degrees outside, but we don’t care, do we? We’ve got each other, and good reading material, and a quite beautiful fire raging beside us.

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My photography assistant, Cassidy, made it look like we’re both reading. We’re not. I’m reading “The Night Circus” (very good!), Scarlet is watching “Caillou” on my iPhone, and football is on in front of us.

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They’re not really stolen moments when we get them in time. It’s more like they’re stolen from us if we never get the chance. I was robbed in real life of something I think I might have really enjoyed. Photographing my father. So I photograph my mother. And I photograph my husband. And I photograph my daughter, and everything else I see fit to photograph. I wonder if the dream will kick me in the pants to do it more, more, more. Somehow I think so.

And that ain’t such a bad thing. It was wonderful to see you again. And thank you for a perfect day.

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6 Comments

  1. That black and white photo is literally stunning. She is such a beautiful little girl (I may be a little biased because I see Lindz in her so much). Tam, can't wait to see the next one!!!

  2. I was dreaming that my friend gave me coffee to drink and a cylinder shaped chocolate cake to eat. Then I couldn't find the cake. I got lucid and realized I could do cool stuff I like to do when lucid but I insisted on finding the cake. There were stolen bites (thanks, Dream Cody) but what was there was creamy, sweet, and Italian chocolate, maybe even a hint of dark chocolate too. These stolen sweet bites remind you of your stolen sweet moments.My friend who had shipped the cake appeared and I told her what I thought the sex of your unborn child is. People kept appearing and disappearing.I, too, often dream that your father is alive and I want to show him the world. Treasure that dream, treasure the kicks, treasure life.

  3. He's very proud of you and the beautiful life you've created for you & your family.There's not a day that goes by that I don't catch a fleeting thought of him.Thank you for the memories (& dreams).-Auntie M

  4. It'll be 15 years at the end of the month since my grandma passed away. Every once in a while, once every 2-3 years or so, she comes to visit me in my dreams. I cherish those dreams. I love seeing her, smelling her, feeling her as I give her a hug and tell her how much I miss her and how happy I am to see her. I'm happy for you that your dad came to visit you in your dream and that he got the chance to spend time with you and your beautiful family. :)Lovely pictures, as always. Thanks for sharing.

  5. First of all, I love the pictures. Second, what an amazing dream. Really, truly, amazing. A few years ago I had a very vivid dream that I went back and visited my grandparents' old house and in my dream I knew it was the last time I would ever go there, and I went through each room looking at all of the belongings and remembering things about time I had spent there. It felt so strange and heavy and full of sadness, but I was appreciative to relive being in that space. I like the idea of dreams being a way for us to connect visually with our memories.

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