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  • My grandson is three and a wonderful photographer already. He sees something and asks to borrow my camera or, last week at the beach, my iPhone. He asks me to hold his "guy" while he takes its photo. He takes several, posing the action figure (I believe it is a Power Ranger) over and over. He is a joy to watch building his own life's web in pictures. I keep a lot of his pictures on my camera or phone for him to scroll through and remember and retell the tales.

    Unfortunately, he lost the sword to this guy on the beach this week, and my daughter asked me to take the pictures of his "red guy" off my phone to keep from upsetting him. It seems every time he thinks of the red guy's missing sword, he cries.

    I keep encouraging him to create, collect, reflect, and remember all that he has done in this life already. He tells me he remembers when he was a baby, and since he's only three, who is to say he can't remember that far back? And maybe someday in his future, he'll look at this picture and see the guy, and remember the sword. Maybe he'll recognize my fingers or see the sand on my foot and recall that his Nonna played photographer's assistant. Harvey is not limited to those few precious shots from a film roll of 12 or 24 or 36 like I was. He can take as many shots as he wants, using all the gigs in my camera (always at least 32 in my Rebel!) and can explore his world and represent it visually without limit.

    As the technology changes, some things do not. He still suffers loss and must learn how to cope.

    Our world view is limited or unlimited depending on our own experience and beliefs. The red guy without his sword is a painful experience for Harvey, but when he is grown, maybe he'll find it amusing to have been so upset over the loss of a four inch piece of plastic, and then I can bring this picture back, and he can re-add it to his growing life-collection. Until then, I share it with you and keep it in a file hidden away.
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