In every family, there will be pain. In every family, there will be times of struggle and stagnation. Times when the daily grind of cleaning and nappy changes and cooking spaghetti bolognese for the 500th time gets you down. (I actually love cooking spaghetti bolognese, but you get the point.)
And in every family, there will be moments of joy. Simple moments. Ordinary moments. Forgotten so easily if not captured in an instant.
We had a moment like that, just the other day. Walking home from the shops, we came across a carpet of purple flowers. A Jacaranda was dropping its blooms. Birdy, Dad and I raced to catch the twirling, swirling petals as they fell from the sky like elusive feathers. There was much raucous laughter, squealing and delight and before we abandoned our game we’d caught five Jacaranda flowers in mid-flight. A precious prize indeed and Birdy carried them home in her hat like we’d found gold.
It’s those kind of moments that Lisa Jay captures in her children’s and baby photography. The moments that stand out from the daily grind because they are perfect. Perfect in their simplicity, their purity, their innocent joy.
Not because life is always like that. But because those are the moments we live for.
If you have enjoyed Lisa Jay’s photos on my blog, you might be interested to know that her new blog, Days Like This is now live.
And share the joy.
When you become a parent you have to learn a lot of new skills. Besides the obvious things like learning how to change nappies and bath a baby, you also learn to be patient, to problem solve, to multi-task and to show leadership. But there are some things you never really master no matter how hard you try. And for me that something is CRAFT!
I’m not sure why I hate craft so much, but I think it goes right back to the third grade, when I was actually awarded the craft prize at school. I probably would have been quite happy about that, except that my teacher told me that I should have won the academic prize, but because I already had the craft prize, they had decided to award the brainy prize to somebody else. Hello? Why would I want a dumb old ‘you’re good at sticking’ prize when I could have had the smarty-pants prize? I know I really should JUST GET OVER IT, but ever since that moment I have struggled to enjoy craft.
Of course, now that I am a parent, I can no longer avoid it. For her last birthday, Birdy was given a whole stack of craft things including a brightly-coloured assortment of pipecleaners, pom poms, paddlepop sticks and goggly eyes that you are supposed to make into creative critters. On the packet, there are all these inspiring-looking pictures of giraffes and cats that you’re supposed to create. But from the first moment I looked at those animals on the packet, I knew there was no chance that anything we made would even vaguely resemble one of those pictures. But Birdy really wanted to do it, so the other day, I gritted my teeth, got out the craft glue and unpacked the pipe cleaners.
Needless to say the final result was disastrous. Disastrous. What I want to know is… is it really possible to stick two fluffy pom poms to each other without first setting them in wet cement overnight? Cause frankly, I just can’t see how it is physically possible for two fluffy things to stick together. There’s no surface to attach to. I held those pom poms together for about ten minutes, and they weren’t even slightly stuck. Then I tried to put the paddle-pop legs on and again, I can’t see how you can attach the end of a stick to a pompom without a staple gun. So after half an hour of sticking and glueing and reattaching and holding and trying to break paddle-pop sticks into two equal halves, all we had were two uneven legs that looked completely deformed and a pair of goggly eyes that wouldn’t stay on.
When Daddy got home from work and asked Birdy if she did some craft, she actually sighed and said, “No, Mummy couldn’t do it.” So I’m very sorry Birdy, but “I will not ever NEVER be good at craft.” But that’s what pre-school’s for, right?
Do you enjoy doing craft with your kids? Are you naturally crafty or have you had to learn the hard way? Do you have any helpful tips for me and all the other un-crafty parents out there? Are there other activities that you have tried to master for your kids, but just haven’t been able to get interested in? (eg baking, sports, keeping pets, painting?)