Friday, July 13, 2007

Parent & Child Wall

Do click the top two photos to enlarge.

You may have noticed that I really like parents and children . I have posted a number of YouTubes with the parent/child theme.

When I worked as a parenting coach, I made home visits three days a week, and then the rest of the week clients who worked downtown would take an odd lunch hour once a week and come to my office. Over the years I ended up with pictures of various parents and children (most of them animals) on the wall behind me.

I called it my parent and child wall. Here you see two of my pride pictures. In the top photo, we were in Safeway, and Maya threw her little arms around Julie's neck and planted a smackeroo on her cheek. In the picture to the right, Ted and Maya are laughing at something and the mirroring of their posture is so perfect! The same angle of the head, the same laugh. The focus on each other with such love.

And, if you look behind Maya, you see me with my camera reflected in the mirror -- how my hair has whitened in the last ten years!

Here we have a mother Panda and cub, in a pose that is remarkably like the Yu'pik mother and child below.

There were a lot of other animal pictures on the wall -- horses, cats, wolves, ducks, polar bears. It rather startled me, about four years into this wall when I saw an old Fugitive tv show and a boy who had been deserted by his parents had a wall of animal parents and young in his room. It was so clearly what he needed so badly.

Since I watched that show when it was first broadcast, I wouldn't be the least surprised if the idea hadn't been knocking around in the back of my head somewhere.

A Yu'pik mother doesn't use a cradle board; she sticks the baby down the back of her parka and cinches a strong belt around her waist. Usually they carry the very young baby nude and when they feel her start to make the movements that mean she is about to wet, they hold her out so she doesn't wet either of them. Since they wear their parkas fur side in (for warmth) this is important. These mothers are very sensitive to what their babies are doing. When the child is old enough to be let down indoors, they are dressed.

This is actually the picture that started the wall; a client gave it to me before Julie was even pregnant with Maya.

The Yu'pik baby has an advantage on the Panda -- she doesn't have to stay awake and hang on.

And this is the second picture that went up on the wall. I really love this. Giraffes are such lovely animals, and the affection here is so touching. Well, I'm a sucker for mothers and babies, so of course it is touching to me.

And, if anyone tells you that silly misinformation about giraffes not being able to bend their knees, please note that they do that just fine.

Most of my clients were women, but not all. I not only worked with some couples (and once a mother, father, and step-father), but also with fathers alone. Some of them were single fathers and some non-custodial.

With most animals, it is the mother who raises the young. And with the wolves, dad helps but you can't tell by looking at a photo that it is the dad.

Which is what made the picture of Ted and Maya and this one so really good. No way to not know that this is the father lion. Fathers are important and they need to be encouraged and acknowledged. As with all of these pictures, you can see that this father is besotted on his child, who approaches him with utter confidence.


AuthorMomWith Dogs said...

Love all those photos.

How I wish Parenting Coaches were as much a part of starting a family as OBGYNs. It's such important work.

J at said...

Fathers kind of get the short shrift, don't they? Not growing up with mine, I never realized how important they are...but seeing Maya and Ted together is pretty darned cool. :)

Py Korry said...

Good gods! Where did my hair go? :-) Very nice post and I really liked the various "parent" shots you included - esp. the one with the lion and the cub.

Maya's Granny said...

People really liked that picture of Ted and Maya. I like it a lot, too.

naomi dagen bloom said...

first i knew of your being a parenting coach. profession unknown to me and sounds like an excellent idea. oh yes, caring fathers are so needed.