26 October 2014

Mother's meeting - week 39

Week 39 | 2014

It took Chuck and I a long time to find a baby group that we could be part of. When he was a wee baby he was a nap monster. He wouldn't nap on the move, he wouldn't settle in a pram or in my arms and, if he fell asleep in the car, he would almost certainly wake when the wheels of the car came to a standstill.

He was a baby that needed his naps and I was [and remain to be] a mother who needed them just as much as he did. This made getting out and socialising with my bebe difficult for a long while. Even now he has a good two or three hours in the afternoon. These days I'm more relaxed about timings and have even been known [on rare occasions] to let him miss his nap if we have a very good social event as an excuse.

We were well into Chuck's second year of being when I finally found a local group of mamas who met regularly at a time that suited our nap regimen. You never really know how these meets are going to go - lord knows I've been to my fair share of them and have come away bored and feeling isolated, so often they are clingy affairs. I usually find myself on the side lines, struggling to integrate. I even had a stab at starting a local mama and baby group which fell flat on its face when the 4 members of the group [of which I was one of them] failed to ascertain a time and day for us all to meet regularly.

So I was very pleased when another local lady reignited the fire of the local NCT coffee morning and it was a success! Finally Chuck and I are part of something familiar, something regular. Friendships are being forged and, for the first time, I feel as though we belong; we are welcome; we are accepted. We are home.

I am seeing my son grow, develop in personality and in independence. And somehow, it is rubbing off on me.

I will forever be the person who questions themselves. I am learning to accept this about myself while trying not to let it hold me back as I have done for so so long. Such wonderful things can happen when you feel comfortable with people.

I have felt comfortable enough to share my passion and interest in photography with the group and, encouraged by my mama compadres, I have taken photographs in public, of other people's children - for the first time ever. Some of which you see here - today. I cannot underestimate the value of this personal milestone.

To say I was anxious would not be an understatement. But I pushed myself to do it and I'm so glad I did. I'm beginning to develop my craft in ways I had never expected and this group's influence cannot be denied. And subsequently, I am nervously looking forward to taking some more private shots of some of these amazing kiddos and their families. I'm scared but I am trying to embrace the fear and not hide from it. This is a fundamental change in personality.

My first-born son, Chuck, is really the catalyst for all of this change. I owe him everything.

Belatedly linking up with Jodi.
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