The First of Many LossesWe were at a family picnic and my niece, Makenna, lost her first tooth.  She was happy about it.  My sister asked if I could take a picture of her with just the tooth in focus.  

The Tooth

I took Makenna outside the party tent for the photo.  The light was better there and the background would be less distracting.  I took this photo and wanted to try another one with her face more in focus.  Before I could do that, the tiny tooth slipped out of her fingers into the gravel she was standing on.  We looked for it and found many little white rocks but no tooth.  

Her mother saw us looking around and knew what had happened.  She sighed.  It was her first child’s first lost tooth.  “At least we got a picture of it,” I said weakly.  

This got me thinking.  As a mother who photographs her children almost daily, I wonder how the recording of moments changes the moments themselves.  A lost baby tooth is not the end of the world, I know.  But, it is funny to think that Makenna’s memory of losing her first tooth won’t be about hiding it under her pillow, but about dropping it when I was taking her picture with it. 

2 thoughts to “Lost”

  1. Fortunately, when Makenna spent the night at our house that night, I had Maureen's split tooth in a little plastic box, that she lost due to a fall when she was two years old. We wrote a note of explanation to the Tooth Fairy, offering Maureen's tooth, if the Tooth Fairy wanted it. The Tooth Fairy didn't want it, and she left one dollar in the envelope under the pillow … to Makenna's delight.

  2. This is such a sweet story to go with your beautiful photos, Jenny. I have asked myself that same thing, quite often: "how does the recording of moments change the moments themselves?" And after all the asking, I still don't have an answer, of course. I'm finding that I take my camera with me less often lately. But then when I do have it along, I use it fully and joyfully, taking my time to get as many photos as I wish during a session. Having my camera for two years now, and seeing the volume of pictures I've taken, makes me realize that if I just have a few good photos from every month, I'll be very happy looking back.

    This is why I like your 40 Friday Photos project so much – highlighting one photo a week seems just right. It will be enough to keep me motivated to improve but not enough to change the tone of too many moments!

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