And then there was one! Ann’s girls are her life. They are her pride and joy. They are her world, times two and then some. They are all responsible for changing Ann’s life for the better, but no child can bring about such a result as the first. The oldest child and for some the only child, becomes an epic wakeup call, a rude awakening, a singular moment that many along the way had tried to prepare you for.
Our oldest daughter, Zoe, changed our lives forever. Ann will be the first to tell you, that in some ways, “Z for Zoe,” saved her life. When we talk about those first few weeks Zoe came into the world, Ann will go on and on about how everything she had once previously held so dear had now become insignificant. And regardless of how foreign all this seemed, she’ll proudly say that she had never felt more at ease.
Outside of a small “cord” issue, Zoe’s birth went off without a hitch as well. If there were any problems, it was with me and my ability to be anything but a babbling mess. “Baptism by fire, “Ann would always say, followed swiftly by, “There’s just no better way.” But for all the greatness Zoe had brought with her, some parents will immediately sympathize with what comes next…
If reincarnation exists, then Harry Houdini high jacked Zoe’s body! At the ripe old age of one and a half, Zoe had a knack for “escaping” out of her crib. Ann would put her down for naptime and not even five minutes later, she’d hear what sounded like the clanking of toys over the baby monitor in Zoe’s bedroom. Ann would get up and investigate. Every time Ann opened the door, Zoe would be sitting in the middle of her big pile of stuffed animals and toys, unscathed, smiling back at Ann as to say, “I call the shots lady and I say it’s playtime!” Of course, Ann being Ann wasn’t having any of it. Soon, we were both switch hitting watch duty at the foot of Zoe’s door. Every time Zoe attempted her choreographed jail break, either one of us would fly into the room with a purpose.
Not long after we both started to wear down, thinking guard duty was going to last forever, Zoe developed a new skill. She was extremely fond of taking things apart. Granted, a child’s interest in seeing how something works is one thing and should always be encouraged, but Zoe always took it to another level. Zoe’s toys, Ann’s makeup, recently bought groceries, books; even our furniture became unwilling participants for Zoe’s bouts of curiosity. Once Ann caught Zoe taking apart her mother’s necklace, the line had been crossed…
We all took one of our many trips to the Atlanta Zoo not long after the “necklace incident.” While we were all there, we came across the monkey exhibit. As Ann was looking into the habitat, a group of monkeys had these boxes that they were ripping up. They weren’t trying to feverishly destroy the boxes; instead they were taking them apart in an extremely methodical manner. I can remember Ann turning to me and asking if I was seeing any of this. I told her I had and she smiled and said, “Who does that remind you of?!” I cracked up laughing and from that day on, Zoe became our “little monkey.”
So in honor of all firstborns, I present this monkey. Every time I see a monkey now, I can see her coming into her own. I can see the very moments where she proudly surrendered every ounce of herself to ensure a better future for another and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website: www.adamkiger.com
Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!