The Perfect Family - Part VI
On occasion, our nightmarish "children" (I hesitate to imply they are fully human) show glimpses of the finer aspects of humanity. I, of course, see right through the little beasts and their guile. Despite the occasional glimpses of innocence and genuine generosity, the true evil behind them is clearly visible to me.
Take the above image. What a beautiful capture! As a photographer, moments like these caught on camera feel like true masterpieces. After the hour-long ordeal of running after her, repeatedly flinging myself to the ground and hoisting myself up onto perilous heights, to come away with just one image like this feels like a veritable achievement. Needless to say, most would be excused for thinking that this is an ideal candidate to be artistically fitted into a shiny, new frame and given pride of place above the mantelpiece.
When I stare at this image, however, I see something different. The cheeky smile gives me a crystal clear clue that she has either just done something she was forbidden to or, alternatively, had formulated an atrociously cruel plan which she would execute with the clinical precision of Moriarty himself. You may think me a cynic, and you would probably be right, but one of the perks of parenting is that you get to know your children like the palm of your sleep-deprived hand, warts and all, and I'm telling you, that look is dangerous... life-threateningly dangerous.
The real reason behind her grin is no secret, however, as I discovered mere seconds later. Here she is 30 seconds after the initial image, after she had torn up a chunk of grass (with soil-attached) and flung it directly at me, maniacal grin-and-all. Fortunately for me, a) grass is not usually deadly, not even with soil still hanging from it, and b) she possesses the aim of an armless drunk and missed me by a country mile, and c) I can always count on the local police to resolve her horrific behaviour on my behalf.
You see, as someone who has worked as a teacher of young children for seven years and has been a father for going on two and a half, I have learnt their tricks; Their admirable ability to play on adult human emotions for their own personal gain, their willingness to lie through their teeth and deceive in order to execute their dastardly plans and a scant disregard for the emotional well-being of other fellow humans in their pursuit of power and glory.
...nasty, nasty characteristics which make for rather wonderful little people without whom my life would feel empty and worthless.