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.
June was soul-filling in so many ways: travel; photography; a mini heatwave and the knowledge that the summer holidays are just around the corner.
We began the month in Scotland, having moved on to stay at Cameron Lodges on the shores of Loch Lomond after our four days of adventures in Edinburgh at the end of May for half term. It was the perfect end to our little break – peaceful, relaxing and surrounded by nature. I didn’t want to come back to reality. There is something so magical to me about exploring somewhere different, finding a new rhythm to the days, adjusting and adapting, discovering alternative perspectives and being open to seemingly limitless possibilities & opportunities. I always feel more like the real me – and more free – on the road.
Once we’d returned home and I’d grieved the end of our trip, it was the start of the final stretch of school and the countdown to summer. It’s been another consecutively strange academic year and I’m just so proud of the girls who have been absolute troopers throughout it all.
The rest of the month was mostly about keeping our heads down and getting on with things: Ella and Mimi both had ‘assessment weeks’ at school (ie: exams), Lola was preparing for the end of primary school and Neil and I were both ridiculously busy with work. It felt like there wasn’t much time for anything else – we were all so wiped out by the time the weekends came around that we pretty much stayed home.
I know that rest and recuperation is important. I really, really do. I find it incredibly hard though – my heart thumps uncomfortably at the thought of all of those missed moments for adventures and memory making, desperate to make the most of every minute and not waste any time. And then I look back at the images I created during the nothingness of the days of downtime – reading, playing in the garden, doing homework… – and I remember that there is just as much value in these quiet, at-home memories as there is in the bigger ones. These moments matter just as much.
Sophie came to visit for the day which was a wonderfully bright spot in amongst the mundane. We take her visits where we can get them now – her life is busy with work and university and her boyfriend (which is exactly how it should be at 19 years old!) so when we do get to see her it feels special. Seeing the girls’ faces light up when they’re with her is one of my most favourite things. I didn’t manage to capture any of those sparks on camera this time around as I was too busy enjoying them. Although now I regret not picking my camera up and documenting it because now there’s no tangible record of those moments and they only exist in our hearts and minds.
It’s a never-ending tussle in my mind. Be present and be in the moment vs capture the moment and freeze it in time forever. I don’t want to live a life of regrets. Equally I don’t want to miss anything because I’m trying too hard to get the composition or the exposure right of the moment I’m trying to capture. It’s a delicate balance that I work on on a daily basis.
Regardless, I’m grateful for the times I DID pick up my camera and the images I did make because they tell the story of who we were, who we are and who we’re yet to become.
This is us.