A Family Photograph

When I was about five, my family made a road trip to a mountain area near my hometown. At one point we came to a place where the view was fantastic even though it was not an official lookout. My mother suggested that we should take a picture there. It was many years before we had smartphones or even digital cameras, so taking a quick selfie was not an option. My mother signaled us to line up while she adjusted her heavy classic Nikon camera in her hand.

We were standing on a cliff, and just next to it was a wooden fence to prevent people from falling. Holding my baby brother in his arms, my father casually sat on the wooden fence. As soon as I saw him sit on the fence, I also wanted to sit on it. I tried to climb, but the fence was a little too high for a five year old girl.

“Sweetie, look here!” My mother called out from behind the camera, but I was too busy trying to climb on the fence.

“What are you doing?” My father looked down and found me struggling with the fence.

“I want to sit on the fence, too!” I cried.

Noticing the persistent tone in my voice, my father agreed to help me sit up on the fence. Balancing my brother in one arm, he used the other arm to pull me up.

Five seconds later, I was sitting next to my father on the fence, smiling.

“Honey, watch out so that she won’t fall!” my mother called at my father,

“I know, I know, don’t worry,” replied my father.

And thus a photograph was clicked.

In our old family album, there are actually two photographs from that day on the clifftop. In one of them, I’m standing next to the fence, crying with my face up, while my father is looking at my direction with an expression “what’s the matter?” In the other one, I’m sitting on the fence next to my father and brother, and everybody is smiling.