Greene Family Photos.

Greene family photos-5

“and dats daddy…and dats mommy….and dats MEEEE!!!”

That was Lady H pointing out people in the pictures that are hanging on our wall. It’s one of the things that we love to see her do because we think it’s important. A couple of things are happening here:

  • She is able recognize people in pictures in different scenarios. Supposedly, that a development marker or sumfin…
  • She can also recognize the younger versions of the people that she knows. She can pick out Lady C when she was a toddler and Hayden when he was a young man (… and yes, he was once a young man!).
  • She sees her family represented visually all the time.

Hayden is a photographer so that last one is the most important reason that he encourages people to take family photos. Well that, and we need to keep the lights on! (Shameless plug: make sure you come to his Annual Pop Up Gallery Show on November 22nd) But indulge us for a few:

You may have heard the statistic that 90% of all photos ever taken from the invention of the camera until now, have been taken in the last 3-5 years. That’s staggering! It’s a direct result of the advent of digital photography and the fact that everyone has a camera in their pocket these days. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is a topic for another day but it does raise an issue: where do all those photos end up?

Printing pictures has become as archaic as typing a letter on a typewriter. Instead of hanging a picture on a wall, most people opt to posting it on their Facebook wall. Instead of sending grandma and grandpa a picture of the newborn family member in the mail, people opt to emailing them a link to the pic on their Instagram page. When someone asks to see a picture of your kids, instead of pulling out your wallet with a bunch of wallet sized photos, most people pull out their phones and scroll through their gallery. It’s just innovation changing the way we view photos…right?

Well think about this for a moment: in this new digital age, where do young children see their family represented? They don’t have continued access to phones, laptops, and tablets. They only see these pictures when someone chooses to show it to them or if they ask to view it. I think that it’s important that they see their unit (whatever it looks like: traditional, nuclear, extended, blended, non-traditional, etc) all the time. It tells them that they belong to something and that there are people that love them. Also, it reminds them that their actions affect a larger group than just themselves. Both these things are hugely important to us. But Hayden is an old soul (housed in an old body) so we may just be behind the times!!

How do you display your photographs? Do you hire a photographer to take professional ones? How do you share your pictures?

Daddy confessions.

I had decided to use this forum to air out some of my dirty laundry. I have some confessions to make and I think I should ask for forgiveness from our readers… Le Sigh…here I go…

I hide from my family sometimes. 
Now I don’t mean that I go out for milk and return 3 months later. Or say that I’m going to hang out with some friends and then don’t return for 6 years. Nothing crazy like that. I hide in my kitchen!
I…I…ummm…errr…
Wash dishes!
See we have a traditionally formatted house so if I’m in the kitchen then I can escape for 5 minutes to reset my brain! And even though washing dishes is my MOST HATED chore, it’s a perfect reason to escape to the man cave…ummmm …I mean the kitchen. I’ve heard my wife hides in the bathroom but who am I to judge!

I assassinate balloons.
My kids LOVE balloons. I mean, if there is a helium filled orb in a 1 mile radius, these girls go crazy!  I, on the other hand, DESPISE balloons! Just call me the Grinch of Inflatable Objects. So when balloons get to the house, overnight they seem to lose their ability float! It’s like they all develop a tiny leak at the base of the knot and within a day they’re completely flat! It’s soooooo weird! My kids can’t figure it out and neither can I. I think Aisha is onto me though.

I have opposite views about snow.
Here is my Lady C’s reaction to snow:
“YAAAAAAY!!!!”
Here is MY reaction to snow:
“@#$^&”)@&@^%$!!!!!” 
She thinks about snow angels and going down the slide into the backyard into a pile of fluffy snow. I, however, think of shoveling, scraping, salting the pathways. AND I hate the cold (you may remember I’m Trini!) so snow is a reminder that I don’t live in the tropics any more!  I make every excuse not to go outside, including, but not limited to, “It’s too cold outside”, “The snow is too wet”, or “Daddy’s back is killing him”! Almost none of these excuse are ever actually true. Don’t judge me. I suck it up at least once a season and go pretend like snow is cool.

I lie about batteries.
Inevitable a noisy, annoying toy makes its way into the Greene house and of course, it will be the girl’s most favorite thing…and the reason for multiple headaches on my part. Fortunately, most of the toys run on batteries which means that they eventually die. That’s where my sinister actions take over. Rather than replace the batteries, I put on the saddest voice I can and say, “Oh nooooo! The blah blah blah toy is BROKEN!! Let’s put it over there with the rest of the ‘broken’ toys. So sad!” Shhh…this plan is flawless…for now.

I know. I know. This make me a horrible father. I hope you all can forgive me. However, I am sure you have some stuff that you have to confess too! I can’t be alone…I hope!

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Our Children Marched Today Because…

Today our family marched with thousands upon thousands of other concerned citizens in New York City to protest against police brutality. We saw other parents walking with their children but by and large it was rare to see young children at the event… which is understandable. During the march, we received accolades and quite a bit of attention for having our children with us. Bringing a five year old and 20 month old to a protest march is an interesting decision…

Here is why we did it:
– we wanted them to experience history while it occurred 
– we wanted to reinforce what Lady C (our five year old) learned about civil rights and civil disobedience in school
– Lady C learns a lot about justice but it is equally important that she learns about INJUSTICE

This was a learning moment and teaching opportunity. For weeks now, we have been trying to think of a way to discuss what is happening in the country and have been at a loss. We’ve read blogs and articles and gathered children’s books that discuss race and civil disobedience. In reality, we were over-thinking it. Once we decided to attend the march we had to confront the issue of discussion. And just spoke from the heart.

We asked Lady C to tell us about what she learned about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. She said they wanted people to sit wherever they wanted on a bus. We told her that one of the ways they made their opinions known was by marching with other people who shared their opinions. We told her we wanted to do the same to let the world know that we do not agree with people being treated unfairly. We decided not to delve too much into the particulars of the most recent cases and kept it very general.

We prepped by packing snacks, loading up on clothes to stay warm and Lady C made a sign for the event and sounded out all the words to create the sign.

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Lady C and Lady H even marched through the house to rehearse. And… We made sure everyone had an empty bladder before we left the house… Very very important.

When we arrived, Lady C was amazed by the crowd and we asked her how it felt to see so many people gathered to express how they feel. Her response: “happy”.

She joined the chants, held her sign with pride, asked questions and generally was a great sport.

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We left the march early and on the way home she continued to chant.

We hope this experience teaches Lady C about social action, using your voice and opens her eyes to the power people have when they come together for a united purpose.

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Safe…

Sleeping hard

There are few things more peaceful than a sleeping child. Especially a child as talkative as my eldest and one as busy as my youngest. When they finally fall asleep, a hallowed hush falls across the house and Aisha and I take a collective breathe. Don’t get me wrong: we love that our daughters are talkative but every parent of young children looks forward to bedtime!

At any rate, when children fall asleep at home, in a protected loving environment, they completely knock out with abandonment. It’s a manifestation of the trust they have in their home and that their parent(s) are going to protect them while they sleep. It brings me great joy that we have been able to provide that level of solace for our children and sometimes I just watch them sleeping and envy their ability to completely relax.

Now it’s a horse of a different color when your child falls asleep outside of the home. At least for me it is. Think about: your child becomes sleepy (afternoon nap or headed home after normal bed time). Children will not fall asleep until they feel safe so when they fall knock out on your shoulder or in the back of the car, that feeling of security is directly attributed to you, not their surroundings. For me, it is the greatest affirmation of trust that I can get from my children: “Ok daddy. I’m going to go to sleep now. You got me right?” My children see me as Daddy the Brave, Shoo-er of Flies, Vanquisher of Ants, Protector of Sleep (having a bit of a Game of Thrones moment)! And there are few greater feelings than that in the world.

…now if we can just get them to take a nap at the same time, we’ll be GOLDEN!!

From the Greene House…