I missed those first years, but I know well the photos that hung in your bedroom, the ones where you are wrinkled and tiny, not the least aware of how much you would be loved.
I especially remember that Saturday when the four of us set out for a playdate. It was my first real outing with you, those adorable puffs of yours, those big brown eyes brimming with optimism and that brilliant smile that, like a laser, cut a space in my heart that will forever be yours.
I recall that Sunday when you came to brunch and took one of my cameras and shot everyone from your 3-foot perspective. I still have those photographs in my library, and they invariably make me smile when I happen upon them. Sitting on the pool deck, I watched as you side-eyed Joanne with an intensity I had not previously seen, patterning her. When she crossed her legs, I watched as you did too and thought, I want to be a witness to this young girl grow.
Then there was the time you stood at the counter in our kitchen and with every inch of your being tried not to blow out the candles on your sisters first birthday cake. A cocktail of restraint and anticipation that had every inch of your body in conflict. You prevailed, as you do, mindful of authority and aware of what is right.
So many instants strung together into the narrative of our framily.
I learned to be a photographer with you. The universe took our parallel paths and crossed them in one unlikely spot, Texas, from hence only one track remained. I, with my camera, and you as my subject logging hours of experience, no, hours of joy. The memories so entwined that I can't remember which came first, you, Elliot, or the camera.