It was nearing the end of naptime. The Baby was already awake and sitting up on the bed with my husband and me, being utterly adorable. My husband quickly got his camera to take some pictures of her, just as she is now, with her new little-girl-hair, her broad gummy smile, her big blue eyes. Soon, the Toddler was up too and came to join us. My husband took pictures of him too, and showed them to him on the screen, which the Toddler loved. Then he sat down next to his sister and held her hand. I stood to one side, watching my husband taking pictures of the two of them and chatting to them. I had a sudden jolt of realisation then: this is us now, we are parents, these are our children. We are the grown ups. This is their childhood. When I was young, it was my father who was always taking photos. Now, he is Opa, my husband is Daddy, I am Mummy. It all sounds rather obvious, but I think after 2 and a half years, I am still not quite used to being a parent.
A moment, here, on the bed
the smiles and giggles
“You are beautiful,” you said
to that tiny person, adoring you,
she reaches for you, flaming red,
the world is exciting and everything new
she grabs for your camera, smiles and wriggles
here on Mummy and Daddy’s bed.
Our son, sometimes still and wise
sometimes shrieking, laughing wild
looks back at you with your own eyes
wants to learn and see and know,
rehearses here his family ties
the soil in which he can safely grow
from loving toddler to confident child
Growing ever more wild and wise.
The lens captures and draws a line
Looking in: our children, hand in hand,
Looking out: our faces, yours and mine,
seeing that now we are a family.
Sometimes we wish we could turn back time
to when it was only you and me
but life has moved on and now we stand
unsteady but ready to cross this line.
(c) Judith Kingston, 2013
Linking up to Prose for Thought.