Every now and then I look across at Elma, back comes the smiley gaze of a little girl, not a baby and I sit and wonder, “just when did you get so big!”. She’s nearly 15 months now, cruising round the furniture, climbing the stairs at every opportunity, and coming out with more and more words and almost-words on a daily basis. If she were my eldest I’d probably think she was getting so grown up. But to me, she’s still my baby, still so tiny and little and small, even with the even tinier impending arrival, and I think this month’s photos show exactly why.
We’d just come out of the Tate Modern and both of them had a fair amount of fidgets to wiggle out, Kitty having toured the gallery in the sling while Elma snoozed in the buggy, and when Kit heard the beat of the busker down by the river she danced all the way to the railings, and even Elma’s little feet started kicking away. And then, naturally, we had to hunt for crocodiles, just in case there might be any lurking in the Thames (well I suppose if you can have lost whales, why not lost crocodiles!).
And there they stood, looking out across the river to St Paul’s, my two lovely girls; Kitty all glee and imagination, and my tiny Elma, getting so big now, and very nearly almost walking, but yet still a good head and shoulder smaller than her long-legged sister.
They were chatting away as I took these photos; Kitty telling Elma what to do, what they were looking for, and generally providing a running commentary on all activities while Elma beamed back at her with devoted adoration, and then ignored most of what Kitty said. It’s the everyday pattern of our lives.
I love the moment that these photos have captured, not just in terms of remembering a wonderful day out, but as a fleeting moment in our family story. Life seems so very full in the present right now that it’s hard to imagine the changes that are to come. In a few months, or maybe even weeks or days, Elma won’t need to hold onto the railings to stand up, she might find a reason to keep her shoes on her feet and be off scampering after Kitty. One day that height difference is going to be smaller (though for the record I think Kitty will be my kind of tall whereas Elma will be just pleasantly above average so she’s never quite going to catch up) and before too long our whole family dynamic will be a completely different sort of wonderful.
We’re standing on the cusp of a lot of awfully big adventures, watching our little set of siblings grow and thrive, and so it feels rather special somehow to have not just a picture of my girls together, but a picture of my girls right here, right now.
Two little sisters, in March
This month I’m sending you to a truly beautiful blog that really needs no introduction! Lucy is the Mama not only to the Beautiful Boy and Beautiful Girl but also to the whole Family Portrait Project, which turned out to be quite some New Year’s Resolution. Her blog is always a visual treat and she writes with such true joy in motherhood that you can’t but smile to read it.
So I know there will be the ten of us sharing our siblings (or in my case, some of the siblings); would you like to join us?