elijah’s universe

elijah’s separation anxiety began when he was eight months old. in japanese, we call this period ‘ato-oi’, which literally means ‘after-follow’. he began to follow me around wherever i would go. even when i was in his sight and someone else was holding him, he immediately would start crying and reach out to me. it is/was really, really touching and awfully adorable.

i try to stay close to him so he won’t feel insecure. he wants to be picked up and held all the time, so i do that. when i need to go to the next room, i let him know that i’m going. i try not to disappear without saying anything. he always stops what he’s doing and crawls after me. for some reason, if i get down on the floor and crawl out of the room, he doesn’t react anxiously. maybe he thinks i’m off to catch some salmon. it’s all part of the bear game, my friend.

recently, he started to follow after paul, too. he chased after paul when he entered the bathroom. so i thought it might be a time to teach him that papa and mama are around even when you can’t see them.

it’s kind of embarrassing to tell you this, but i’ve been leaving the bathroom door open when i take a shower in the morning. i put elijah in the playpen and move it down the hall in front of the bathroom so that he can see me. as soon as i would get in the shower, he would start crying, and he’d keep crying his head off the whole time. from time to time, i would stick my head (covered in shampoo) outside the shower curtain and say “daijyo-bu! mama kokoni iruyo!” (it’s okay, mama’s here!). he would cry even harder. :D after a couple of try, i stopped hearing his crying. he started to play with toys.

this is one of the drawings for ‘100 stories’ at hosfelt gallery in NYC.

100 stories

photographs by crystal liu
& drawings by crystal liu, ruth marten, rachell sumpter, yuka yamaguchi

11 april – 31 may 2008

hosfelt gallery
531 w 36th street,
new york

Author: yuka

can you see this?

3 thoughts on “elijah’s universe”

  1. You have nothing to be embarassed about! I seriously see my future… right now I shower while the baby is asleep. Kyo will not play alone at all. He is literally an extra limb. Maybe it’s because he is still mastering sitting. And he barely likes his playpen. Everything I do with the exception of going to the bathroom and cooking on stovetop involves my son, haha.

    I love the new artwork it’s very playful!!

  2. I was in New York over the weekend and I stopped at Hosfelt. Your worked looked great and it was so cool to see it in person. Beautiful presentation, and I especially liked this piece.

  3. ku:
    arigato :)

    elijah doesn’t like his playpen either… just recently i’ve started to see him play in it for a little while… i think he thinks it’s a jail.

    thanks so much for going to see my drawings. the gallery framed my drawings, so i haven’t seen them framed yet. but i’m sure they did a great job of displaying them.

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