The Perfect family - Part II
In my Perfect Family series, my aim is to highlight the moments in my family life which are very much unposed and imperfect, yet are remarkably special to me in a myriad of ways. I see and hear too many parents who feel guilt over not fitting the unattainable image of the model family which is often put out there by photographers. I hope you will see that I feel an intimate connection to the beauty in the everyday and aim to capture it in as beautiful a way as possible.
This week's image is of my daughter Selma during a lovely trip to visit our friends out in their summer cabin in Norrköping, Sweden. Having spend a wonderful few hours in the evening sunshine, dining and enjoying the outdoors, a fascinating umbrella appeared in my daughter's line of sight. Its surface was dotted with images of ripe red strawberries and it was clear that a love affair had been struck. However, despite the sumptuous fruits on display, it soon became apparent that this delightful object held a sinister secret underneath its protective wings.
Problem #1 - It wouldn't fit through doorways. Selma looked like the confused dog desperately attempting to take the knobbly stick it had found to its owners, who would surely be overwhelmed with pride at the incredible discovery, only to find the stick is too wide for the gate. Oh well, try again... Nope, still too wide. Try again. AAAARRRGGHH!
Problem #2 - Once closed by concerned parents, it would not reopen. Much to her frustration, all that would happen was the painful trapping of her fingers in the metal maze that made up the umbrella's frame. Pain and frustration then led to problem #3.
Problem #3 (as represented I this week's image) - In a regrettable, rage-filled incident, Selma slammed the umbrella down to the ground in frustration. After a quick stamp of the foot to assert her dominance and ethical superiority, she had realised her mistake and made a desperate attempt to retrieve the object before the ground swallowed it up and deprived her of the potential for joy and laughter. However, a combination of short, stocky arms, the curved surface of the umbrella and feet which seemed to be unable to avoid stepping on the strawberry coated treasure, all led to her inability to pick it up from the ground. The more she tried, the more painful the failure became.
All that was left of her optimism was drowned in sheer despair. Head dropped, shoulders drooped, she slumped away back to the porch where her father would surely be waiting to pluck her up and comfort her in her time of need (daddy was of course snapping away like a crazed maniac at the sight of her battling with an inanimate object).
What a wonderful memory for me of the highs and lows of childhood. One minute filled with hope for the immediate future, the next... hopes crushed into smitherines by the very thing she had regarded so highly. Naturally, she was running around, arms flailing happily through the summer air, singing the theme to the Litlle mermaid seconds later. Such is the wonderfully volatile nature of an ordinary family day.
if you have kids and would like to share a moment which you hold fondly in your memory, I would love to hear it. Please write it in the comments below and be a part of showing the world how beautiful the unexpected everyday can be.