On Saturday we spent a long afternoon picnicking at County Farm Park. Jay raced from the sandbox to the slide and Wally crawled around on the soft rubber surface beneath the jungle gym. For me and Caroline, the sun-drenched languor recalled what it had felt like, once upon a time, to pass a day lying on the college quad, fingering the pages of a textbook one had no intention of actually reading.
We’ve spent most of this weekend outside and I’ve taken a lot of photographs of Jay and Wally as they’ve played. On Friday afternoon I lined up a shot of Jay in the sandbox at Burns Park and remembered, suddenly, looking through my lens at him from the same angle back in October on one of the first crisp days of the season. Both pictures are below (the one from the fall is first):
The moment in the sandbox on Friday made me curious to compare pictures of the boys from this past weekend with pictures of them from the fall. I had a suspicion they’d changed, but of course those changes are hard to account for on a day-in-day-out basis.
To me, Wally’s most noticeable changes have been in his face and head. His infant fuzz has given way to some wild curls that call out for a pair of scissors. His generically round baby face has become more angular and uniquely his own. He’s just as smiley now as he was back in the fall (though you don’t see it in the tight-lipped profile picture below). I was also little sad to realize that the blue sweatshirt he’s wearing in the fall picture fits him almost as well today. Last week, at his nine-month well-visit, Wally measured in the 5th percentile for weight and we left the doctor’s office with instructions to fatten him up.
With Jay, I find the changes more subtle but also more arresting. As I wrote last month, his crewcut has been replaced with a proper barbershop haircut. His face is a little more slender and his neck seems longer today than it did in the fall. But when I compare the two pictures below, the thing that really takes my breath away are Jay’s arms and legs, and the angle of his body as he runs: He’s getting long and skinny like a young boy.
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