It’s a common occurrence that us parents take more photos of our first born than of all our other children combined.
It’s a combination of novelty, the undivided attention they can get and time (you don’t realise what little time you have in a day until you’ve got more than one kid).
I am no different than anyone else in this respect. My little S is growing up so fast and yet so little of her is captured in photographs or films.
We were going to the park the other day and she was running, her arms by her side and her hands flapping back and forth to help propel her forward. Enjoying her enjoyment I thought this would be great to have on film (then you could see just how cute her running style is) but I realised I didn’t have my phone. Yet another moment that will only be stored in my personal (and dodgy) memory bank, that only I can enjoy.
It reminded me of a clip I have of F as we walked to that same park. She pushed her toy buggy with a “sick” baby doll inside. She was the carer, taking this baby out for some fresh air.
I did have my phone with me that day and I have a great short film of it. In fact I have lots of short films of all the cute stuff she did.
Contemplating the difference in me regarding F and S, I have to acknowledge that in the early years with F it wasn’t just the novelty or time, in fact her care took more time than looking after 3 healthy kids. There was also a sense of urgency in me. An imperative to catch her on film because maybe soon that is all I would have left.
Phew, that was hard to say.
It was almost too painful to look upon her directly, without the filter of a camera in between.
I have always been dimly aware that I felt this way. It’s one of the reasons I crashed so hard when she finally started to be well for more than a few days at a time at the age of 3.
So little S I am truly sorry that I do not have more photos and films of you. Please know that I am not taking you for granted because you are healthy and expecting you to always be there. Because the future is not guaranteed and the angels could take you away just as easily.
You see, I am paying more attention to you. I am trying to focus on being with you now, joining in with you, no barriers. I have learnt something from you both about being a mum. When you look at me I want you do see me, not the camera.
I see you and you are great of spirit.
A clever clown who is sweet and kind.
A tough little lady who cries when she falls off the sofa and lands on her head (seriously, how can we stop this happening without tying you down?) Who then, with determination, goes back on that edge, carefully choosing a safe spot this time.
You are vocal about your displeasure (especially at the sofa for not being as wide as you imagined) and you shine brightly and shimmer with joy when you pat your tummy and say Yummy!
I have finally put photos of you up on the wall. It’s something that you have not noticed but has been a weight on my shoulders.
I do see you.