The Best Laid Plans
Posted By: Ali Anderson
This one is for all the moms out there.
You have exactly 14 minutes to get there. And that’s if you hit all the lights, swerve around anyone driving a Buick under 30 miles per hour and take liberties with a rolling stop sign or two. You arrive at work; huffing, puffing and apologizing profusely to everyone from your boss to the parking attendant. Why does it always fall apart when you, with the precision of a neurosurgeon, did everything right to set the day up for success?
Lunches: made the night before. Teeth (including your own): brushed. Bookbags: packed with finished homework. Husband: gets major points for cleaning the kitchen before he left for work. Self: sufficiently caffeinated and feeling like you might actually be ahead of the curve for once. Just as you’re reaching around to give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back, the whole thing grinds to a screeching halt.
- ISO 400 50mm f/1.8 1/25th
You weigh your options:
- Put her in the crib, call for reinforcements, pack a bag, lock the doors, and book a one way ticket to Tahiti on the way to the airport.
- Speed dial your boss to explain why you’re late. Make sure the screaming can be heard clearly over the phone (maybe she has been where you are and gets it). What’s the worst that can happen? You can always plant more money trees in your backyard.
- Strongarm the flailing munchkin into her car seat, put on earmuffs, cross your fingers and pray for traffic that parts for you with Moses-like capabilities.
- Take a picture, then a deep breath followed by a long swig of coffee and let it pass. It always does. Today, your best laid plans have gone awry.
Personally, I highly recommend option 4. The bonus of capturing conflict like this is that those kinds of pictures could serve as no-fail boyfriend repellent if you pull them out at the right time in the future. Sorry, kid. But I’m busy telling a story over here and right now, this is the defining conflict in both our lives. Don’t worry though because there exists tender, beautiful conflict in your life and I’m getting all of that too.
Like the way you experience the signs of spring on the first warm day.
- ISO 100 50mm f/2.2 1/1000th
The way you dig in the mud in your Sunday Best.
- ISO100 50mm f/1.8 1/640th
Or when you hit the sprinkles jackpot and you think no one is looking. For the record, I’m *always* looking. And don’t think I can’t see your sister standing on the counter top.
- ISO 200 50mm f/2.0 1/40th
There are thousands of parenting blogs out there that have valuable insight, solutions, humor and wisdom to share about The Tantrum. I’m not really sure though because I’ve never read any of them. What I do know is that someone who has about the same vocabulary as a golden retriever can change the game in an instant and I need to change with it or get pommeled by a Pampers-clad puppy. For me, in photography and in life, this means pressing the pause button. Let go of the way things were supposed to go, get a new plan and move on it.
And if you can get a picture of that moment – well, that just makes it your lucky day then because you’ve managed to tell the story of a fleeting moment; the kind worth being late to work for.
- ISO100 50mm f/2.2 1/640th
If you’ve captured some conflict (the good, the bad and the ugly kind), post it up on the forum. It just seems a shame that your computer screen gets to see all the good stuff and the rest of us don’t.