Every summer my friends and I, “The Ladies” or the Craft Night Crew, go for high tea at a local historical estate/museum. We sit on the lawn and eat tiny sandwiches and drink tea from beautifully mismatched vintage China. We eat too many desserts and we take group photos.
This year some of our daughters joined us and as the afternoon wore on, mine was getting a bit impatient. Summer holidays are full of hot days, late nights, sugary treats, relaxed rules and lots of visitors. It all starts to become a bit much and normally patient little girls (and mums) start to lose their cool a bit quicker.
In an effort to keep her entertained so I could continue chatting with my friends I passed her my camera. It worked. The little girls ran around the grounds staging photos and snapping closeups.
62 photos were taken and it was fascinating to see what she captured. There were unintelligible closeups of tablecloths, fingertips, and carpets. There were artfully arranged shots of tea cups and tea activities. There were her friends running and smiling and twirling. And there was me.
8 times I found myself in her photos. Usually just a portion of me. A skirt, a torso, a purse. Only once did she stop and ask me to smile. All the rest were candid and choppy.
But isn’t that how mothers are? Ever present, looming large, or hovering in the background. So familiar we don’t always stop to look but always we’re seeing them. They’re in every moment. Their voice becomes our internal voice, their expressions cross our own faces, their words come out of our mouths.
What a treat to see the world, and myself, through my daughter’s eyes.