It has been unusually warm for February, which has been especially nice for me since I tend to get the February winter blues about now. When the days are bright and slightly warmer, we head outside to soak in the vitamin D. This particular day I was interested in exploring perspective with my munchkins. I gave them both their V-Tech Kidizoom cameras* and we set out to hike the paved trail along the river near the locks. I like to park at the highest point along the river and walk the trail down to a playground next to the locks. The higher ground gives breathtaking views of the Ohio River and Kentucky on the other side. While I take in the beautiful bare limbs of the trees and the sun reflecting off the flowing river, I try to keep the girls in my peripheral vision. The fall would be a monster one, and my little explorers are keen on testing the limits most days.
But this day, I want to try to see things from their perspective. I snap pictures with my phone and watch them as they scamper around discovering new and exciting things.
Annika asks, "What's in this hole Mama?"
I answer, "I don't know. What do you think?"
"I think it's a groundhog hole," declares Annika.
I encourage her with, "Oh really?"
"Yeah!" She answers with gusto, as per usual.
Mayzie chimes in, "Let's wake it up."
"No no no, let's let it sleep," I say, worried that there might actually be an animal inside there.
Perspective is an amazing thing. Once you change yours, it is very hard to see things from your previous vantage point ever again. Experience changes us in both large and imperceiveably small ways. I attempt to walk the line between giving my children the space to explore while at the same time directing them in such a way to keep them safe. I so very much want to see through their eyes and remember what it is like to do something for the very first time.
These are the pictures that we took of our time spent "hiking" on the path and playing at the playground.
Brave Daffodils and Girls with Cameras
Mayzie directing me to look look.
Climbing the erosion zone with the sun behind us.
Juice boxes on the slide
Here are Mayzie's Pictures:
The river, w/ Mama's head in the bottom left
Our hiking trail
Sissy on the swing
Nature in Mama's Arms
Annika climbing dirt
Annika actually ended up taking exactly zero pictures while we were hiking and playing. This comes as no surprise because of how busy she is all the time, but I found her shots before we left to be equally interesting.
Annika the blur
Up Close and Personal
Lastly, here's one I took with Annika's Camera while she was busy.
I have an entire file on my computer filled with pictures that the girls have taken with these cameras. I LOVE to look through them. Annika got the first one when Mayzie was born, and I've always been surprised by some of the really interesting pictures she took. I'm sure some of them were unintentional, but I love them just the same. Some of the only pictures of me breastfeeding came from her camera, and who ever can have enough pictures of your kid's nose up close?
My perspective right now, is that this too shall pass. We continue to exist in this liminal life state waiting for me to finish my dissertation, so I can find a job, and so we can get on with our real lives. But this too is part of our journey and I want to remember it, all of it. I want to remember all the little fun moments and hard fought existential battles and every bit. I want to remember it because it is shaping my perspective right now and for the future. I don't want to forget the struggles especially, for they seem to make the sweet that much sweeter. Right now is a bit of a struggle, but I'm trying to keep a positive perspective on the whole thing and remember the bigger picture for the greater good of our family.
This is what made me:
*I am not being compensated by this company for promoting this product in any way, though I'd be happy to do a real review if they're offering. We genuinely just LOVE this product.