on my son’s 24th birthday

with my kids at Djerassi

with my kids at Djerassi

I have been very lucky with the kids who allowed me to be their father. I was an only child raised by my maternal grandparents in the 1950’s when it seemed like every other kid I knew were living in homes that more closely resembled Wally and Theodore’s, with a matching mom and dad. Looking back it turned out that I was inadvertently a lucky child, and my grandparents gave me gifts that I am still discovering, decades after their passing, but as a child, in the dark, I dreamt of my dad, and made a promise that when I had kids I would stay near them and be part of their lives.

When I told a good friend that I was about to become a father, his reaction was dismay and he explained that I could give up on being an “artist.” I disagreed and stated that my personal work would be all the richer for having children who would help me discover the world and people beyond the limitation of my own eyes and history, and this has come true. I have been places and met people I never would have, had I not had two great kids to open the doors they discovered, often doors I had not even seen.

I have been told that across cultures, a single man is the least trusted, and as I wandered with my daughter at my side, and initially carrying my son on my shoulders, I was allowed to experience and photograph people and events that I know would have been difficult had I tried on my own. My children have pursued their own paths for years now, but I attribute much of my manner in meeting people to the confidence I had when they were young. If you meet me now, you may not see them, but Oriana is holding my hand and I still feel Ben at my shoulder.


One Response to “on my son’s 24th birthday”

  1. Ralph Pyle Says:

    Hi Jim your comments about children, I find so truie , I only have one son, Greg, and one step son Adam. but 3 grandchildren. These have enriched my later years beyond imagination…….

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