I met Monique at the Russell Library last night and she looked pretty tired. I suggested we go to the Young Adult section, it's usually pretty quiet there.
Monique perked up as she entered the stacks of books. Within a few minutes, she chose a book and sat down at a table and began to read. As I viewed Monique through my lens, I studied her body language and noticed she wasn't pretending to read, she was actually reading. After shooting several frames, I asked her mother to join Monique at the table and photographed mother and daughter engaged in conversation as if they were at home. I can't help to feel bad for Alycia who works third shift. For me, working second shift takes a toll on me as well as my family. I can't even imagine what it's like for Alycia.
I often get caught up chatting with my subjects, but I had to get back to The Press for deadline, so I quickly organized my gear and said goodbye. But for a split second, I had a chance to watch Monique interact with her mother and grandmother. She asked her Mom if it was alright to take the book home and then turned to her grandmother and asked if she could borrow her library card. I was impressed...Monique doesn't take anything for granted.
I have spent most of my life working with kids. As a teen, I worked as a playground instructor at Vets Park and Spencer School, in my early twenties I ran the athletic program at the Polish Falcons, for thirteen years starting in my mid twenties to well into my thirties, I worked with the after school photography program at Mercy High School and for the last eleven years, I have been involved in Scouting, first as a den leader, a Cubmaster, and now as the Eagle Advisor for our Troop. I worked as a program director for the Middletown Cub Scout Day Camp and through the years, I've witnessed all sorts of interaction between kids and their parents. Some moments I would rather forget, some I will cherish.
I enjoy kids and I believe Monique is genuine, I only wish I could do more for her.
Monique, I wish you much success and a happy life!