Thursday, 18 July 2013

Looking back over my shoulder

Baby Zach and I in the year I became a mama - 2005

Around this time of year as I begin the count down to my boys birthdays, I often look back and take stock of how times have changed, how we have all changed. I think back to those last few days of being pregnant and the feelings of anticipation that I had with each imminent birth. I look through drawers and cupboards and find old polaroids of happy times some eight years ago when my journey into motherhood began and like a flash I get that warm feeling that perfectly describes 'contentment'. Just the flash of the corners of their mouths turning up in delight as I would push them higher on the swing or when I would find huge amounts of red berries to squish underfoot, when I would pop raspberries on each finger tip and thumb and then watch as each one was devoured in seconds or sing sentimental journey over and over again whilst stroking their foreheads till they fell to sleep. Just like that it's all back, just like that. 

And just like that, the wave of nostalgia sets me back on the path of my own childhood and I pine and remember and become enveloped in the flashes of life, life before now. Some stills are clearer than others, some slip through the gaps and others are clear, so so clear. Then I reach for the hard copies, the treasured photographs, the evidence that I don't simply have an over-active imagination. I have plenty at my grasp but I always pull out the same one. One that I've featured on this blog before and one that I'm sure will feature here again and again. It is my favourite photograph of me from my childhood and it is so because it serves as a great reminder that the best things in life are free, including the bike featured which was off a scrap heap. I've been worrying far too much recently about money and about not having enough for certain things that I want to do and feeling sad about not being able to take the boys to Ghana for the summer because of finances. This photograph reminds me that life can be simple and beautiful, I was never happier than when my feet were bare and I was outdoors having an adventure with not much more than a piece of string tied really tightly around my waist. (I thought I looked more like Sue Ellen that way!) I was reminded of that just today as I watched the boys playing football in our small back garden on the grass that is worn from their adventures, smiling as I noted that their football posts were in fact beans tins from the recycling box. They had peeled the labels off the tins, obviously for the sake of authenticity!

Today is my big sister's birthday, another reason for feeling nostalgic. Once more, I searched through family albums today looking for a picture of her that would describe my big sister, not my big sister as she is to others or her qualities or identity but how I saw her all those years ago. How a part of me still sees her today and will forever more. When I was little I thought she was 'a fixer', if something wasn't right she would fix it. She would never say 'I think I can sort this out', she would always say 'I can sort this out' well at least in my mind anyway. In fact in reality too, for example a few years back when the man at the florists sold my reserved christmas tree, my other sister and I reported back to big sis what had happened and she fixed it! I chose this picture of her (see below) because this is the face of a 'fixer'. I had every confidence in her then just as I do now. 

Zach aged 1year +2days on July 2006

My favourite photograph of myself as a child 

'The Fixer'

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful post, Katy, really moving and relatable. It's easy to forget how much joy there is without material things hinging on that - not that it isn't needed sometimes, but we can be happy with a bunch of bean cans or string tied around one's waist! (in my case, it was making a spaceship out of tin foil and cardboard boxes - imagination rocks!). Gorgeous photos, I love the pic of you sitting next to Zach on the sofa! xxxx