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the world through Harvey's eyes

I got a new camera this week, after taking over six months to determine that my previous camera was truly lost. This new point-and-shoot set me back not much further than a trip to Whole Foods. Proof of the wondrous technological age we live in and/or the exorbitant amount of money I spend on groceries. But that's a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about my 5-year-old budding photographer.

When we returned this afternoon from our homeschool coop Dan was up on the roof shoveling, and he asked us to take some photos to document his hard work. I had to see to the baby and get dinner on, so I handed Harvey my new camera and showed him how to turn it on, how to snap a photo, and to put the strap around his wrist.

dan up on the house

harvey's world is tippy

30 minute later, after I had changed and nursed Elijah and put a chicken in the oven, Harvey brought my camera back to me with over a hundred pictures on the card.

elijah in living room

harvey's world is messy

I couldn't wait to download them onto my computer, to see what Harvey had chosen to photograph. I expected to have a chuckle. I expected to erase a lot of blurry images. But what I found struck me dumb instead.


harvey's world is held in tension

The series of photographs was revelatory to me. While I made dinner, here came together a story came of a home that I never get to see.


harvey's world is final

This is a home at rest, a home at play, a home where the primary activity isn't work.


harvey's world is waiting to be louder

This is the home that exists outside of my field of vision. Here are toys ready to act out dramas. Here are interesting textures waiting to be discovered. If I enter any of these scenes they become work surfaces, areas to clean. But in my absence they are, to Harvey's camera, elements of beauty.


harvey's world is do not touch

When I am elsewhere "working" the rest of my things are not lying fallow, waiting for my input. Photo by photo I see this come alive; my things are engaged with Harvey in a mutual collaboration of creation.


harvey's world is dangerous

In other words, beauty in my home is where I'm not. Beauty and mess, and mess and beauty.


harvey's world is worn

If I had known how much it would charm me to see half an hour through Harvey's eyes I would have bought him a camera long long ago. This boy of mine has such a refreshing perspective. It's worth far more than a week's groceries.


harvey's world is not a baby anymore

When he handed the camera back to me, Harvey cheerfully told me I could do whatever I wanted with the pictures. He also added, giggling, that he found a particularly silly thing to do at the end: "Sometimes I put the camera on my face" he said, "And, like, just took a picture of my own face!"


harvey's world is harvey's world

This boy, he laughs while inventing the selfie. I am so incredibly blessed to sometimes see the world through his eyes.


It is still a great present Dan even though I found out a day early. Thanks.

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