American Museum of Natural History

To say that Oscar and Edgar are generously photographed may be a bit of an understatement–or, just perhaps, a significant one.  However, there is a reason.  Having gone into adulthood with very few photographs of myself as a child, I was determined to offer to my children the gift of having so many pictures they wouldn’t even know where to begin.  And chronicling their adventures–the big and the small–is a joy.  So, when we arrived at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History on Saturday, 28 June 2008, I naturally had my camera at the ready.  I placed it on the table while the security guard examined the contents of my backpack; and as I swung the backpack from the table and onto my back, the camera, in its path, took a tumble to the floor.  I held my breath (the camera has been dropped more times than I care to admit) and picked it up expecting it to continue to do what it always does–work!  But it didn’t.  I bought new batteries, jiggled it gently, talked to it, begged it to turn on–but to no avail.  I bought some disposable cameras at the gift shop and hoped for the best knowing that as soon as we were on the road, we would be stopping so that I could get a replacement.  I picked up the CDs today from the disposable cameras and was disappointed to say the least.  I had flashbacks to the pictures I took with my 110 film format camera of the early 1980s.   The pictures are dark, grainy, and completely unremarkable.  And I am reminded how very much I am grateful for raising my children in a time when photographing them is easy and the results impressive enough for an amateur.   No flashbulbs, film cartridges, or waiting for the Polaroid to develop and being very careful not to touch it.   Cameras today are kind, letting you take multiple shots until you get the perfect one, and software forgiving, allowing you to edit your work until it is exactly what you want.  Just don’t drop it!  Oh, and the American Museum of Natural History?  Well, it does not disappoint.  Oscar being a dinosaur fan and Edgar a lover of all things furry enjoyed running through the exhibits.   It was a busy day–breakfast at IHOP in New Jersey, the museum, a ride on the New Jersey Turnpike through a moody thunderstorm, the mandatory trip to Best Buy for a new camera, and then dinner at IHOP in Philadelphia made for a full Saturday–and one full of memories that will remain despite (and maybe because of) the fact that we do not have a hundred snapshots. 


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