What I had in mind for our Mother’s Day email blast was a Sven Wiederholt picture of a child holding one of our boxes. In my mind’s eye I was picturing our neighbor, Abby, who is on William’s short list of best friends. Abby and William are little energy atoms that when joined together equal more than the sum of their parts. When I took them to be photographed by Sven in his Hayes Valley studio and home, it was as if Thing One and Thing Two were let loose from their crate. Sven’s welcoming and calm energy made them feel instantly comfortable to jump on the couch and yell at the top of their lungs to their hearts content—they also ferreted away Japanese yen he had sitting in a dish. Soon they were on an adventure going from room to room, looking with wonder at tiny, unusual sculptures and figurines that were both mysterious and beautiful. Abby’s mother and I were really happy to show them a glimpse into another world, a different aesthetic, which is all Sven, world traveler, accomplished photographer, and exceptional sock maker. I have always loved the part of his work that includes children. He captures that authentic child vibrancy, the moments betwixt and between-- they never look like they are in a ‘sitting’. I have known Sven since we both lived together as warehouse mates in a very raw work/live space south of Market in the early 90’s. It was nice to have him take pictures of my son and his bestie, and have them become part of his work, and mine, it was a special connection all around. When he met the children he pointed to his Dogwood necklace and asked Will, ‘Do you know where this came from? Your momma's brain.'
I chose these two because of their relationship with not only each other but with us, their mommies—we were just off camera. I wanted to capture an exuberance and love that they have for each other, their families and the generous dousing of joie de vivre that spills over, as everyone on our block can attest to.
My mom brought me the flowers from her garden the day before which was a sweet touch. One more thing. A few days afterwards, William found a Mano necklace in a box in our house that was to go to his school auction, he decided to give it to Abby and after making this proclamation to his father, he scrambled over there and presented it to her. Whether playing dueling harmonicas over the back fence or sending stomp rockets onto the neighborhood roofs, I just know these two will carry these sweet memories in their hearts forever