Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Great Performances

Today was one those really special days that one has as a parent. It began with me admiring the beautiful hairdo that Kim gave the Bean before school, proceeded to the pre-Father's Day pizza party at her kindergarten classroom, continued with a family dinner at her favorite restaurant Zona 78 with Kim's parents, and wrapped up with a wonderful Community Schools recital back at Manzanita, where the Bean demonstrated surprising progress in both tap -- new to her this spring -- and ballet. Kim's parents were delighted. Kim and I glowed with joy. And the Bean's self-confidence took off like a rocket. All in all, it's hard to imagine a more perfect experience. kdotdammit is composing her own entry about the dinner and recital, which will surely be accompanied by multiple photos. This time, though, I'm going to permit myself a little redundancy, because there are shots I want to share too.

First, I want you to see how balletic the Bean's pose is in this picture of her and her lovely mother:

That's the new outfit I helped her pick out at Gymboree last week. It was a good purchase. If I'm not mistaken, you can also discern a little of the attitude that makes my domestic life a full-throttle adventure. These females are not going to submit quietly to anything, no matter how gracefully they comport themselves.

Next, have a look at me and my daughter, in a shot taken shortly after I presented her with the requisite having-a-recital bouquet of long-stemmed roses.

My shirt is a new acquisition, part of a painfully slow process of transforming myself into someone who is not a public embarrassment. Really, though, it's the beauty of the Bean at my side that makes me look my best. I like the fact that you can see both the back of my head and the arm-and-camera-obscured face of the photographer in the window of the restaurant. I love it when suture loses a few stiches.

The third and fourth photos feature the Bean interacting with her grandparents. What I like about these images, though, is the way they situate that interaction within a larger context, like one of those oversized staged photos you might see in some hip New York gallery:

The family get-together in the foreground is facilitated by the scene of labor in the background. It's not the most onerous sort of laboring, to be sure, but still deserves acknowledgment. Thank you, friendly workers of Zona 78!

Finally, I present one of those deep-focus photographs I love, in which you can see many different people relating to each other in space, even as they seek to preserve a place of their own:

I love the Bean's distracted gaze and the way that guy in the left corner is leaning into his hand. You can tell how happy her Papa is to be basking in her glow. She gave a great performance. So did her classmates. So did her grandparents. So did her mother. And so did I. Sometimes the art part is the only part that counts.

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