The Tell Tale Dad

While on the Path train yesterday I happened to sit next to a father with his six-year-old son. We were in the front train and the son was watching with rapt attention through the glass as the train moved forward through the tunnel.

“After we make this turn, the train’s gonna speed up. See?” the dad expressed to his son as the train did exactly what he predicted.

The son’s arm was against his dad’s side. This was a real father-son moment. All I could do was smile and create a mental note to take my elder son on the front train next time we trekked into the city together.

What’s also interesting to me about this moment is that even though I knew nothing about this father and son, aside from this interaction, it was incredibly evident how close they are. Contrast this with a father and his eight-year-old son that I happened to come across while filming a week ago. They were playing catch at a local ball field and I was excited to get some good shots of them in this iconic setting. I asked to get a portrait of this pair and it was so evident how uncomfortable they were standing next to each other and how much distance lay between them. Needless to say, it wasn’t a heartwarming shot.

Kids don’t lie. When they are loved, they love and when they aren’t…

Anyway, it’s little moments like these, good and bad, that continue to fuel the fire for this project. When all is said and done, my hope is that more dads will be on that train, explaining what’s coming up around the bend to their kids. It would be a better world.

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