"Small Steps are Giant Leaps" is about reminding parents that to our kids this is a new and exciting world just waiting to be explored.

Small Steps Are Giant Leaps is a project featuring the adventures of my son, Astronaut Harrison, as he explores his everyday world.   My goal is that these images will remind other moms or dads out there who may be losing their patience in line at the grocery store or coffee shop that our kids aren’t just acting like fools - they are exploring new frontiers.  Our job as parents is to act as their mission control and co-pilot to make sure they can explore as much of their new world as possible.

 

How Did It All Start? 

I had the idea for "Small Steps Are Giant Leaps" while I was riding the bus with my three year old son.  What was a normal, everyday event to me had him completely transfixed.  Seeing that look of amazement on his face at something so commonplace really struck me. I realized that my son is an explorer, and the world I take for granted, to him, is an amazing place filled with new sites and experiences. I knew that I wanted to somehow document his journey of exploration but had no idea how I was going to do it. 

 

Later that same week, he got an ear infection and needed to go to the doctor's office.  Unlike most three-year-olds, my son loves the doctor's office - every part that is except for the exam table.  My son had two fears: hand dryers and exam tables, and I was continually trying to find ways to help him face and overcome his fears.

 

As we sat waiting for the doctor, I asked my son if he would sit on the exam table. Of course his answer was no.  So then I asked him what type of people were brave enough to sit on exam tables.  We discussed the usual cast of brave people: police officers, firefighters, etc.  He said "What about astronauts, Dad.  Are they brave enough?  I said "Sure they are. After all, they sit on top of rockets and get blasted into space and, before they do that, they have to go to the doctor's office A LOT!".  We pretended that he was an astronaut, and he sat on the exam table with no problem.   When his exam was over, I told my son how proud I was of him for being brave like an astronaut.  He said to me "Next time I get sick, I can wear my astronaut helmet here and you can take a picture of me, right dad?".  At that moment, the final piece of the project came into place, all thanks to my amazing little astronaut.

 

One spacesuit, two helmets, and more than 40 photoshoots later, I am so proud of my little astronaut. He really enjoyed working with me on the project, and we’ve used it to help him get over his fear of hand-dryers, exam tables, and hair clippers. We have shot everywhere from the museum to the city pool. We have had great local companies allow us access to movie theaters, old-school barber shops, $600 a night hotel rooms, and, back where it all began, the city bus.