In July of 1997, my parents and I went to Disneyland. We went to Disneyland a lot in those days, since my dad worked for the Mouse, but this day in particular was of great importance. This day, standing in front of the Walt and Mickey statue, I met a little boy named Christopher. Our dads worked together, and since we were all new to California, it was arranged for us all to have a Disney day. Christopher and I were 2 years old, so to be frank, I don’t really remember much from that day. I do remember that there was a photo of us from our dinner that night at Goofy’s Kitchen on our fridge for 9 years. I remember several other Disneyland trips, one that included a giant dill pickle and one that made him wish he had never encouraged me to go on Tower of Terror (I love it now… just… not so much the first time). I remember us playing with Legos. I remember arguing over who got to wash their hands first. I don’t actually remember the gymnastics classes we took together, but thank god for parents and their natural instinct to document every embarrassing endeavor of your childhood. There are videos of every class and every birthday party. Photos of every Halloween costume and every ridiculous face.
No, really. We made ridiculous faces. That’s me on the left, Christopher on the right, and my aunt Maiya in the middle.
I’m fairly certain that, 15 years later, we all still make those faces. It’s just that now, Chris and I are taller than Maiya.
Christopher and I grew up together. We spent hours on Neopets and MapleStory together, stayed up late watching Harry Potter movies in the living room when we were supposed to be asleep, took my dogs for walks, made grilled cheese sandwiches, and made up insane stories about the world domination plan of gerbils everywhere. I remember when he first started going by Chris, and how hard it was for me to remember to say that instead of Christopher… it’s still a little difficult now. I was there when his siblings were born. He was there when I moved away to Minnesota.
A couple of months ago, his little sister asked me, “Are we, like, friends, or are we family?”
I’m pretty sure we’re both.
So needless to say, getting to take his senior photos meant the world to me. During the early stages of planning, we talked about a lot of elaborate shoots, including one with explosions in the background. In the end, we had a simple shoot with just him and his dog, Mindy. He turned 18 today and left for college, so it seemed about time I share his photos with you all.
It was a really fun session. Every set of shots would start out serious and end up with him making faces.
Mindy loves her boy.
Serious… happy… aaand silly. Every time.
We did a few that were a little more artsy.
But then he went back to being silly.
Really, really silly.
Still, we got a lot of nice formal shots. Y’know, to make his mom happy.
I’ll put a bunch more on my facebook page soon — we took a lot. I had so much fun with this, just as I have with every day I’ve spent with this crazy guy as my friend.
Happy birthday, Chris! Good luck in your new college digs.