I had a fun little writing session planned for Ella’s nap time yesterday, but I wasn’t feeling well. And by ‘not well’ I mean that I keep accidentally falling asleep. So, a few pictures this morning. My last attempts to capture and put to screen here – my little virtual keepsake box – the calm before the change.
Painting afternoons are fun. This little girl had free reign of mess and colour and rarely have I seen her so intent, so engrossed in something. I did not hover over her, telling her to be careful, suggesting what she should do, reminding her that “paint is for paper”. I left her to it, and the freedom she must have felt, I can only assume, is the precise reason she stood there painting for close to an hour.
It seems that our knowledge of those we love – our affection for them – predominantly occurs with us included in the picture. That is to say, we know our people because we interact with them. We draw conclusions about who they are and why we love them because we are right there with them. And yet, it seems to be most true that we can only ever truly know sides of people, because a person alone with themselves is a different person in the presence of somebody else. That somebody else depending on who and how they are, naturally possesses the phenomenon of bringing out or suppressing any one of the million different layers present within a person.
Which is why I have found that my affection towards my daughter is the strongest when I am not in the picture. Watching her immersed in something, when she seems to have little awareness I’m there, feels like I am knowing her. And knowing her feels delightful to me. It feels deeper than love, if I can say that. Love is about two people. It’s interactive and complicated and layered with expectation and condition and – often – need, (I love you so much, please love me back). It’s often difficult to see if your love is about them or about you. But knowing somebody – knowing my daughter – has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her. And that feels genuine. That feels more real; a necessary prerequisite to claiming that you truly love a person, since my affection it is not about what may or may not happen in the space between Ella and I – about me in the picture, but rather entirely about her.
And she loooooooves to paint. Which is why this may have happened.
And also maybe this.
Honestly, who am I to say no?
More things we’ve been enjoying.
Ella gathered her most treasured friends: Bunny, Dolly, Jemima and Ruby Red Shoes and opened up shop for them. Proudly, I might add.
Ending in evenings at the beach.
Tea parties and playing sessions.
Where I get to stand back and watch her, and fall in love.
Like I love to do.
A little girl needs to be picked up from her grandparents’ house, so I’ve gotta fly. Wishing you a happy weekend.
Also, bets on when this baby is coming, anyone?