Impromptu Portrait

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.

Impromptu Portrait

A moment, here, on the bed
the smiles and giggles
β€œYou 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.

Prose for Thought

17 thoughts on “Impromptu Portrait

    • judithkingston says:

      It’s remarkable how much of the time we’re tpp busy to stop and notice who we are and what we’ve become – for good or ill.

  1. That is really beautiful Judith and really captures how you reflect your children and vice versa. Like you, I still sometimes can’t believe I am a Mum – and that is over 6 years on!! Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought.. Off to prepare tomorrows newbie showcase shortly! πŸ˜‰ xx

    • judithkingston says:

      Ooh exciting! πŸ™‚ looking forward to it. I’m actually going to be travelling for most of the afternoon tomorrow, but will be online in the morning and late evening.

    • judithkingston says:

      Thanks. πŸ™‚ It startled me to realise that I had really been kidding myself for two and a half years about being a Parent…

  2. Funny, I quite often have those jolts even now my children are 8 and 9, just for a moment you see them and realise their yours and you are a family, strange. I really like the way your poem describes the moment with such detail, I can visualise it all. Really lovely.

  3. themotherhoodsite says:

    I love this! I keep reading your blog posts on my phone when I’m not logged in and forgetting to comment once I get to the computer proper but with this as with many of your posts I can really relate – it’s also nice to have a glimpse of what might be to come for me and Baby T!

  4. Wow What a beautiful post I love the image it creates. Funny how parenthood creeps up on you like that isn’t it, when my eldest bought his first letter home from school that said ‘Dear Parent’ I had one of those moments, I felt like the letter was meant for my parents not me! #PoCoLo

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