This is one of my favorite pictures ever. Not because of the angle of the shot, or my "smile" but rather the subtext behind it. I recently had my niece tag along with me to Paris and the first place we went to was the Trocadero stop on the Metro which offers the best view of the Eiffel Tower. So as we prepared to take a photo at the edge of the plaza she leaps onto to the narrow ledge without looking...a ledge that is about 4 feet wide most of its length and drops straights down about 60-70 feet onto marble stairs. Not exactly the kind of fall that little ten year old skinny girls are likely to survive.
Needless to say, the look on my face was one of those "don't f*ck with me, am not your parent and they are about 3,500 miles away so if I have to shake you a few times and yell at you no one in France is going to understand you mumbling through tears in English and help you" kind of looks. Nonetheless, she got with the program after that, learned how to order her food herself in French at restaurants (jus de pomme et un hot dog sans fromage with a chocolat chaud or nutella/sucre crêpe for dessert). She is one of the eight or so children (a collection of brothers, nieces and nephews, godchildren and a sister of godchildren) who I have decided to take a vested interest in and see to it that they receive the encouragement, emotional, tutorial and even financial support to become successful young adults in the future and see them off to college. Hopefully I will be able to sucessfully keep them away from all physically and metaphorical ledges they may stray to close to along the way...
"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you"