Friday 12 September 2014

My Child...My Teacher

Eleven years ago today, I became a mother for the second time. My son came rushing into this world and hasn’t stopped moving since then. The urgency in which he arrived has not ever subsided. He walks this Earth in constant motion and awe, always searching for the bigger and the better, always questioning the who, what, where, when and (the one that drives me absolutely nuts!) THE WHY.  It is precisely this urgency that makes him who he is and keeps his wheels turning.

Filled with a desire to learn EVERYTHING, I often hear him say he is looking for his passion. I love this about him because he hasn’t pigeon holed himself into one box and is desperate to try everything once, just in case “it” may be his true passion.  But I see what his passion is, learning and discovery.  And I will never tell him this because watching him search for his long awaited passion is marvelous to observe.  I am astounded by the way he absorbs things and I am intrigued by the questions he asks.
His world of wonder started right from the time he could talk.  It began with him as a toddler.  I would kiss his little head goodbye and leave for work, always wondering about what new things he would want to have explained later that night. He would sit with my mother at the breakfast table and watch as she would flip through the newspaper.  “Grandma, what’s that?” he would ask, pointing to a photo and she would explain.  Then the questions would come and she would sit answering what she could. His fascination was with the obituaries and seeing the photos of those who have passed.  He needed to know why they died, what the cause was and how old they were. And then he would say, “that’s sad.” 

The questions never stop.  This intense curiousity courses through his veins like fire.  It burns inside him and I hope it is never extinguished.  However, there are moments when I wish I could put a cap on the number of questions he asks but how do you tell a child that they have reached their quota? Thank goodness for the internet!  He is now at an age where I can say “google it”.  Now, the role is somewhat reversed because although the questions still abound he can figure it out himself and teach me.  And I must say that having an 11 year old explain who Tesla was or why Modigliani and Picasso were frenemies sheds a whole different perspective on things. My child…my teacher.

Through his search for his passion, my son has discovered he has an amazing sense of humour. Yes, he is a boy and can be quite silly but there is more to his humour than wet willies and knock-knock jokes.  It is intelligent and witty and the ease in which his quick comebacks and replies come to him is exceptional. Could it be his acute awareness of the world around?  Whatever it is, this little man makes me laugh daily.  And the best part is hearing his laugh which is absolutely infectious. 
Showing affection is a bit uncomfortable for him at this age. In fact, it is 100% embarrassing.  Hugs are given half heartedly or disguised as something else more manly.  Forget about kisses! EEEEW….they get wiped off his face as soon as they are planted. But little does he know, every night, before I go to sleep, I go into his room, push his hair from his forehead and kiss him ever so gently whispering “I love you”.  And somehow, as he stirs, I can swear I see a little smile appear on his face.

So today, I raise a glass (apple juice of course!) to the most important man in my life, the one who loves me no matter what, the one who makes me realize how wonderful the journey of being a mother is.  Happy Birthday to my baby boy!

Talk to me! Have you discovered your true passion yet?

Tuesday 9 September 2014

If Life Were a Series of Camera Filters

Capturing a moment in time with a single click whether it's with a smartphone or fancy camera allows the photographer the ability to share that moment for years to come. Photography is something I have recently become enamored with and am constantly searching for those poignant instances I know will spark conversations well after I leave this world.

My eye is getting better when searching for the right light or composition. The photos are pieces of art for me and I love being able to change a filter to help evoke more of the emotion I am attempting to catch. The use of filters made me think about what my life would look like if I could adjust a filter to convey a clear message to onlookers about my most pivotal moments.

Graduating from university, the first in my family, would be captured in a bright light, halo around me and a twinkle in my eye. Would I box it in with a frame? No, the world was my playground and opportunities seemed endless. Bright possibilities for an unknown future and excitement about what next lay ahead. This moment would have been shot with a lot of light and sparkle.

Filters with warm hues of orange and red would tell my story of my time living abroad in the land down under. It was an easy time when life was laid back and filled with meeting new people from around the world. The warmth of the hot sun could be felt even under the shade of a tree. An idyllic time of my youth until the dark black and grey filters of a failing relationship seeped in along the edges and slowly dimmed my light.

The years that encapsulated two failing marriages were dim, blurred and sad. No colour filters could be used to capture this time. The lines were harsh and broken, images foggy and my face barely recognizable. The scenes were almost melancholic and heartbreaking. I was lost in the grey and needed to find bright lights and colour again. And I did.

The colour exploded back into my life with filters that have clarity and focus to what became my most important reasons for being, my children. The images were sharp, playful and full of movement. They added vibrancy and depth to my life with the realization that things would be good again. And it was. It is.
So what filter am I using in my life now? Colours are a bit muted, a bit retro. Images are fading into the past, which can only mean one thing. Life is going to change. I feel it. And I think this next chapter will be the most vivid, the most colourful, the most wonderful yet.
Talk to me! What filter would represent your life right now?