A portrait of Beth – daughter, songwriter, photographer
Last Saturday was such a beautiful day … Beth and I decided to go for a walk with our cameras.
I’d love to say that this was something that often happens, but I have to confess that it tends to take a guest or two to actually get us out into our stunning surrounding countryside.
So this was a rare treat. We drove out to La Chapelette –
We parked up, climbed up…
and peeped through the keyhole of the tiny chapel perched precariously on top of a clump of rocks…
Then we found an old Roman tunnel which cuts under the road …
and then runs along but beneath the arches of a big and beautiful bridge.
It was late afternoon (almost missed the moment!), and the light on the Autumn leaves was in all honesty – thrilling.
We walked, we talked, we laughed, we took photos…Beth taught me some of her photographic secrets.
I found a four-leaf clover… it’s a knack I have!
and then another even more perfect.
It’s very easy in a big family, to forget to grab one-to one time when the opportunity arises. There is always company, always bustle, laughter and sharing in our house… music playing, jobs being done. Then you find a little moment with one or other child and you must seize it; with Luke I had a long run of English lessons (it’s what I do here in France), that coincided with his journeys to and from Lycée where he boarded during the week. It was so precious to connect a little before hitting the full-on family weekend. With Harry he has a 5/6 weekly orthodondist trip to St Etienne, and it’s our special time together, a moment to share thoughts, music, a Subway sandwich! At the moment, I’m reading to Arty every night – we’ve just finished Roald Dahl’s Matilda. He can easily read to himself, and he does – and reads aloud to me, and I read to him. I love that he chooses to read (and listen) for pleasure… since all his writing and school reading is in French now, I’m anxious for him to keep his passion for written English alive… but more than that, I love the quality time together at the end of the day.
When they were younger; I was careful to always give a proper individual bedtime moment to everyone – just as my Mum used to do for us – a chance to share a worry or a new love, or just to connect one-to one. Now I’m often in bed before the children… (bedtime discipline has never been my strong point… and still I ‘m worthy of love ! (please click!))
So Saturday was a particular treat to share such simple pleasures with my girl; my extraordinary, complex, beautiful and talented Beth.
I once read in a parenting book that you shouldn’t tell your children that you are proud of them, as it implies a superiority and I guess offers the possibility that you might one day be disappointed in them.
To me, to tell a child that they have disappointed you is one of the most damaging long-term hurts you can burden them with.
I guess we should say… “you should be so proud of yourself…”
I still find it a hard habit to break… because I feel so proud of her! .. and she could never disappoint me!
She’s one awesome little lady.