I take hundreds of photos every month, and most of them don’t get shared with anyone, let alone online. And yet the moments in time that those photos capture are just as important a part of our story as the other images that I do choose to share.
I originally created this blog as a way of documenting our lives, a way of watching the girls grow into who they’re going to be and a way of remembering who they once were. It’s something I want them to be able to look back on as they get older, because memories fade but (digital) photographs don’t. A legacy, of sorts.
It’s easy (and tempting) to only focus on sharing the fun bits, the memorable parts, the highlights and the celebrations. But I’m learning more and more as I continue through this crazy journey of motherhood that it’s really important to me that I capture the ordinary, everyday times that we spend together as well.
The pieces of the jigsaw that fill in the gaps to complete the picture.
The tantalising glimpses into who our girls are becoming.
The chaos, the calm and all the moments in between.
This monthly feature – The Moments In Between – is a space for me to share all of those magical and messy parts of our family life that would otherwise just stay in a folder on my laptop, never to see the light of day.
April was a good month. Lockdown restrictions finally started easing a little so we were able to get out & about to explore a bit further afield and there was a definite sense of a tiny amount of ‘normality’ returning with shops re-opening and being allowed to travel outside of our town.
It felt busier than last month, but in all the right ways. A bustling kind of busy, rather than a frantic kind of busy (I don’t ever want to return to a frantic kind of busy). We did lots of fun things together; it wasn’t all just work and school; I got a little further with some personal projects I’m working on; we were able to have a much-needed little soul-reviving break in Cornwall during the Easter holidays; and I deliberately picked up my camera more often too, which always makes a huge positive difference. Documenting our days gives me purpose.
I’m desperate to start planning more trips and making travel arrangements, even just in the UK, though I know it’s not sensible to do that just yet. We regularly visit Bude and for some reason I’m finding myself drawn towards some of the other ‘B’s – Bristol, Bath and Brighton are all on my list! I’m working hard to exercise patience and am contenting myself with doing lots of research for now.
It definitely feels like there has been a collective shift in mood in recent weeks. I know there are many who aren’t ready for the world to open up just yet and in some ways, despite my eagerness to explore anywhere that isn’t the town I live in, I do fall into this category too. There are some elements of the last twelve months that I want to keep. Neil goes back to work next week and I’m not ready for that at all – I’ve got so used to having him home, to his constant, reassuring presence being here even when I’m tucked away in my office quietly working, and I think it’s going to take some time for all of us to adjust to yet another new rhythm of being.
There have been so many new rhythms throughout this pandemic. I guess it draws parallels to the rhythms throughout life: a continuous ebb and flow; push and pull; ups and downs. If the last year has taught me anything it’s to go with that flow as much as possible whilst still remaining strong and steadfast enough to forge my own path if I need to; to be more accepting; and to know when to let things go (still working on that last one).
When I reflect on how much the girls have had to adapt and how well they’ve coped, all things considered, I feel proud. Their relationships with each other have changed, their relationships with Neil and I have changed and ultimately, they’ll have been changed within themselves too – shaped into new versions of themselves that they might not have become had this not happened. We all have.
There were many moments that mattered this month and I think I captured most of them. Some I didn’t capture and instead simply witnessed and was present for. Those stay tucked in my heart as much as the ones in this post were tucked away in my camera. This fourth chapter of the year feels significant in ways I can’t quite yet explain – a tentative emerging perhaps? Whatever it is, I’m glad I have these images as a record of it.
This is us.