This site made me smile – a lot.
The reluctant father documents on his site the first 18months with his new born daughter, his new role into which he’s thrown without being neither ready, nor vastly enthused, as he sais himself. It’s a chronicle of a journey from misery to joy, as the photographer Phillip Toledano puts it himself.. as eventually, over course, the little being takes over his heart and makes him fall in love with her completely..
“I was never particularly interested in having kids. When friends came over with their kids, I treated them like radioactive material. Tolerable for short periods of time. Prolonged exposure would have unpleasant effects, like hair loss, or inexplicable stains on the sofa.”
The story is so beautifully honest and touching…
For a mother, things seem to come much easier, much more natural. It seems so natural to love his baby unconditionally once it’s born. The connection you grow during the 9 months of pregnancy is so strong, the birth and everything that comes with it… the baby just feels like a part of you. Not so for a father, at least not always, as I can imagine…
I adore the honesty with which Toledano talks about his ‘dilemma’ and how he tries to solve it.. His statements are so frank and disarming… and make you you feel with him and at the same time laugh out loud…
Here are only some excerpts..
“I remember mentioning to Carla that the screaming was making me crazy.
She said ‘I know, doesn’t it just break your heart?’.
I meant throwing the baby out the window crazy.”
“I want to apologize to Loulou. One day, she’ll see these photographs, and read these words. I want her to know that even though I found the beginning of her life quite bewildering, I’m so glad she’s here now.
I love you very much, Loulou.
While I’m at it, I’d like to say something to the future Loulou. Please don’t wear sweatpants with the letters ‘JUICY’ stitched on the bum. Please don’t become a goth, or an emo (or whatever they’ll be doing in 15 years), and peer at me gloomily through six layers of black eyeshadow.
Remember. Before your father was a parent, he was a person. Young, and confused, just like you.”
Photos by Philip Toledano