"Mom, come help me choose which cupcakes to photograph," she said as I shrugged off my coat and snow boots. As I surveyed the candidates, I tried to pop one in my mouth but she tapped my hand. "Not yet," she scolded and hugged me. "First, pictures."
On the floor of the kitchen was the dismantled top half the standing lamp from her room, with electric cord attached. "Why is that here?" I asked. "It's my lighting system," my daughter explained, clearly pleased with her inventiveness. "I was waiting for you to come home so you could hold it for me."
We chose three cupcakes and she plated them and put them on a white cloth in need of ironing on a clear space on the floor. She handed me the light then lay on her stomach with her dad's Nikon digital SLR and started to take pictures. She directed me to hold the lamp this way and that, depending on the direction and length of the shadows she wanted. I was an obedient assistant. Every few frames she would show me the image and say, "What do you think?" and we would cheerfully discuss the merits of the picture.
But my favorite part was when she was done taking pictures, when she decided she was comfortable on the floor and just lay there, meditatively eating one of the cupcakes that had just posed for her. That's when I picked up the camera.
"Mom, are you really taking this picture?"
"Oh my God! You're really taking this picture!"