I wouldn’t usually put photos of our baby on the internet. She’s going to grow up in a world so different from the one in which I did, and I don’t want her to get to 18 and feel like she’s had no say in how many people in the world have seen images of her. I want that to be her decision.
But, I hear you say, you’ve gone and said all that right beneath a photo of your baby.
I know that. I was just explaining why I wouldn’t usually put up photos. And you’ll notice that this picture doesn’t show her face. That’s deliberate.
But I really like this picture and I wanted to share a thought about it.
This baby has had a really difficult week. She’s right in the middle of a growing phase, she’s getting frustrated by all the things that she can’t do, she’s been teething badly this week and she’s got a bit of a virus that might just be making her feel a little more miserable about the world. So while this has all meant that I’ve felt very maternal and loving towards her, wanting to take away her discomfort, wanting to help her to learn and wanting to soothe her pain, I feel like I too have had a difficult week. Or at least my ear drums have, because they’ve suffered the seemingly non-stop screaming and whinging.
A few days ago I decided that I couldn’t face going home where I knew everything I did would result in a little person throwing herself back angrily and shouting at me at the top of her lungs. So we went to some local gardens for a little walk. I bought a coffee and we sat in a quiet, secluded grassy area in the afternoon sun.
And as I sat among the peace of the trees, and smiled at the odd bumble bee bouncing between the clover, I looked at my baby girl and was hit again with the enormity of her existence. She tapped on the grass with Sophie (if you don’t know who Sophie is, ask someone with a small child) to see if it could be trusted and every now and then turned to me and grinned. I marvelled at everything she can do, at how much she has grown and changed in less than a year. I so often have to pinch myself to believe she is actually real because it all just seems too wonderful, too precious to be true.
It seems to me that it’s an important thing to do every now and then- to sit down together, away from everything and everyone else, and to be reminded of the joy and wonder that is my little girl.