I enjoy taking part in Throw Back Thursday on Facebook, and when I look at this picture, the entire story around it comes back.
At that point in his life, Little Man had been the subject of many of my photographs, and they were all candid. I never said to him, “Say cheese!” I waited for the opportunity and caught him smiling or laughing, or concentrating while doing something.
Just weeks before this picture was taken, Little Man entered this special preschool. In order to qualify, Little Man was tested in six areas of development and was found to have delays in five. The one that wasn’t delayed was large motor skills. Go figure. His nickname was Motor Boy.
When this picture was taken, Little Man was receiving speech and occupational therapies. Even though he thought he was talking up a storm, what was coming out of his mouth were a handful of words and a lot of jargon. Eventually, the idea of words and language would click in his head. To this day, when he gets really tired, he sometimes struggles to get the right words out.
Back to the day the preschool picture was taken. As you can see, the photographer had a few props to set the scene. She had each child sit in the little chair, with the bookcase on one side and the tricycle on the other. She had flash umbrellas set up and her camera on a tripod. We had Little Man sit, and the photographer said, “Say cheese!” The poor kid didn’t know what was going on, as his teacher and I were both there trying to get him to smile for the camera. Pretty soon I saw his left foot reaching out towards the tricycle. A moment later, he climbed on it and joyfully tried to ride off into the sunset. I stopped him, grabbing the handle bars, and pushed him back into frame. The second I jumped back behind the flash umbrella, the photographer hit the shot. I bet it was the best one she got that year.