When I was pregnant for the first time and people realised that it was our first baby, there was just so much delight and happiness everywhere we went. Everyone had so many good wishes and plenty of advice to offer. The bits of advice that stuck with me the most – enjoy the time when they are little – it may be the hardest part physically, but it’s the most amazing part and it just flies past. The other piece of advice? Take pictures and videos of children as they grow up. Take them all the time.
The man who gave this advice, was actually the person who we were buying new sofas from. He was so excited to help us. Giving great advice on what to buy, as we would need something robust that children could climb all over. Something that would resist all the inevitable spillages associated with children. But the instruction that he was most insistent upon was – take millions of photos of your children as they grow up. They change in the blink of an eye and you will forget how little they once were.
I listened to this sage stranger who obviously knew his stuff about sofas and also about life as well. As a result, I take photos all the time – of silly random things. Photos of the girls posing but my favourites are when they don’t know that I’m taking a picture. When they are engrossed in a task. Or just playing and in a world of their own.
My eldest is now 8. She’s a very grown up, head screwed on her shoulders, wise for her age girl. She’s always been that way. This morning on Timehop, I saw a picture that I had taken of her from 4 years ago. I remember taking the photo and although she was only 4, I felt at the time that she was somehow older….and I look at this photo, 4 years on, this little girl, with chubby, baby cheeks, and the cutest smile is staring back at me…and I’m horrified with myself. I feel sad, guilty, angry – why did I forget that she was such a little girl at the time? I’ve always treated her – and still do, as though she is so much older than she is.
This photo has come as a timely reminder – because I was tough on her this week. Long story, but the point was that she wasn’t being herself and had done something wrong and I’d been extremely and at the time I felt, deservedly hard on her. But looking back at the photo, a flashback from the past, I see that only 4 years ago, she hadn’t started school yet. She was still a baby. I wasn’t wrong for telling her off this week – but perhaps I need to remember how young she is…
I think back to myself at her age. I did silly things. I said silly things. And even at my age now, I have said or done things that I know are stupid – and I should have known better.
I believe that the universe sends you messages and guidance when you need it the most. Sometimes a gentle nudge, other times a huge knock. But I’ll take this Timehop photo as a reminder to be kinder and more patient. We all make mistakes and that is fine. To remember that I’m talking to someone who in reality is so young and impressionable and not genuinely wanting to disappoint – just a little girl, who sometimes makes mistakes.
We all know better. Yes. We all know better. Despite that, we all make mistakes. That will never stop. But sometimes, I think I need to let my children behave like children a little while longer?