Someone once told me to find a picture of myself as a child, buy a lovely frame especially, and place it somewhere I’d see it everyday to remind me how adorable I am. I squirmed. Would you squirm? I really squirmed.
It felt funny… but I did it. And I liked it. I found a black & white picture that was actually in focus. I think it would have been taken by a wandering beach photographer or maybe a holiday camp professional. I put it in a squirly frame that didn’t lock it in like a heavy duty one would. It felt like this little girl still had some space to grow.
Sometimes I talked to little me and remembered I was worth talking to.
A while back I wanted to do the same for James. I couldn’t decide between the ice- cream-all-over-his-face one or the bucket-on-his-head one. And what if he hated my choice of frame?
I worried he’d think it was silly. And maybe he wouldn’t want that little flip album his mum had put together for him disrupted. I could get a copy made… but that was kind of his area of expertise and then it wouldn’t be the nice surprise and…
I never did it.
After four children and several house moves, I haven’t got a clue where my picture is. It must be somewhere… I must be somewhere…
We must both be somewhere. At the back of the garage perhaps. Our adorable little selves muddled up with the coils of wire, flat footballs and suitcases. Currently ungetatable behind the contents of my daughter’s hastily abandoned flat. Everything has shifted back to accommodate.
All our children are big now. Busy with big life. We all shift stuff around to accommodate all the time. Stuff gets lost. Not just the stuff you can hold in your hands.
She’s looking for a new flat and hopes to move soon. I’d like to think of a good house-warming present for her.
Hmmn. I think I just have.
A picture of her as a mini marvel, undaunted by bills and deadlines, ready to take on anyone. I’ll put it in a special frame and hope she’ll talk to her fiery little self and be reminded to keep the tiring adulthood to the bare minimum.
And then I’ll dig out my picture and get James to do the same – he can choose the picture and the frame himself. Actually, choosing to honour yourself, squirmy as it may be, is kind of the point.
Maybe I’ll take my daughter to a frame shop instead and give her the same opportunity to boop her own little nose – forever. And tell her not to shift it out the way when things get busier. That’s when we need these little things the most.