21 August 2011

Looking in the mirror

Needless to say, I don't remember what I looked like as a small child. There are some days that I hardly remember what I looked like yesterday or last year. Photos and video provides us with an experience in time travel that lets us go back to the way life used to be. I've often looked back at photos of the hideous fashion faux pas of my teenage years, the time I spent travelling when I finished school, even my early school years that seemed like a lifetime ago. However, it has been my recent reflections on my toddler years that are absolutely fascinating to me right now.

I've looked at these photos over the years with fondness of times gone by but now that Layla is at a similar age, I am mesmerised. I look at these photos and I used to see the innocence, my childhood, the happiness. Now all I can see is Layla!
As a grandparent, my Mum often tells me of the delight she feels in being able to spend so much time with Layla as it lets her experience my childhood all over again.

These photos have made me think about the journey of life I have taken and all that lies ahead of Layla. I wonder whether our paths will be the same or different.

When your child is born, the moment is so emotional and awesome that the enormity of the reality of life can be lost. As newborns, their personalities are barely present. As toddlers, who they really are starts to shine through. There is something so special about having a child who looks like you. It is quietly satisfying but mostly scary. Everyday I look at her and see myself and wonder what the future will bring.

So my favourite thing right now is anything to do with photography. I'm loving my iPhone and it's ability to capture photos and video where ever we are. I'm also loving my investment in a digital SLR camera. I realised a little while back that I was missing so many beautiful times with Layla and that my compact camera was letting me down. So I took a deep breath and jumped in  with both feet. All I can say is that the shots are amazing, I'm obsessed with learning more and buying new lenses and now kick myself for not doing it earlier.
My Nanna owned one of the first portable (ha!) video cameras. The contraption had a camera and a bag that housed the recording equipment. She lugged that thing around on holidays and always had it set up for family special occasions. Ironically, my Nanna has been gone for over twenty years now yet the memories of our childhoods live on. Being able to watch myself at Layla's age brings a whole new perspective for me to her childhood, the amazing job my Mum did in raising us and how much life has changed. I hope to be able to pass on the memories my Nanna captured along with my snaps to Layla so that the memories continue with the generations.

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