Dear baby Eva,
Some things are too special to get lost. Most of the things I am referring to are not actually things at all. Moments, memories, relationships. They come in all shapes and sizes but realising their importance so they can be saved forever is crucial. Today I received something that to the casual observer would seem very ordinary. To anyone else it may have raised a brief smile before being deleted and lost. But to me I recognised its importance and need to be saved forever, or at least until you are old enough to appreciate it and see its value.
A selfie to most people is a fairly standard part of life. at some point the majority of us will have turned our phone around and captured a moment with ourselves as the main subject. Most of these selfies will be destined to be deleted or remain unseen due to a lack of self-confidence, bad styling, unflattering angles, the list goes on but for the special select few they will receive heavy editing and some fancy filters before being plastered on social media portraying an extraordinary and inspiring life. I’m not dissing the selfie or the selfie takers, we have all done it. I am just wanting to highlight to you how ordinary and uninspiring most selfies are.
However today I received this..
If you are reading this as a grown up and have somehow developed a career as a selfie critic then on first appearance this would not rank high amongst all the carefully styled and polished selfies doing the rounds. For starters the lighting and camera angle leaves a lot to be desired amongst many other flaws which I will not go into. So what is so special about this particular selfie? I will come back to the answer shortly but first I need to ramble on with a bit of background.
My mother in law, your grandma is a very interesting lady. As a person I find her a mostly, wonderful contradiction.
Grandma one – Is religious and moral her family and faith will always come first. So well organised she could tell you to the penny how much has been spent dining in her favourite restaurant over the last ten years. Incredibly intelligent and well cultured she likes to do things properly, like wear hats to weddings, really big ones and send cards for every occasion.
Grandma two – Is a hard, ruthless Yorkshire woman. An alcoholic, social butterfly who can drink most people under the table and has to stop to talk to everyone in sight (even if they try to hide or run away) One minute you are walking your dog, the next you have been ‘Bernied’ and you know all about every grandchild she has, the milestones they have reached and have unwittingly signed yourself up to the annual Christmas eve gathering. Oozing self-confidence that most people dream of she could happily blag her way out of or into most situations, telling the odd ‘little’ white lie along the way.
I tried to get away and move to a different county but your Leeds born and bred Grandma sold up and followed us here. Moving just a few minutes drive away and to my surprise and delight what a god send that has been.
Back to the selfie.
I instantly smiled when I received it to my phone earlier today. You was having a grandma day so I could have a little one on one time with Eli and the housework (by housework I mean Netflix) I replied instantly with a smiley face and some sarcastic comment about grandma being cool. She replied informing me it was her first ever selfie. That makes it a pretty special photo in itself but it also represents your relationship together which is becoming priceless. You are her first and only granddaughter up to now and unless Uncle Alex and Aunty Sam surprise us any time soon you will be her only granddaughter. We have a beautiful arrangement which has naturally evolved over time and gives you special time with your grandparents and me some welcome toddler free time for the boring, practical things that us adults have to do. There was a point when your grandma couldn’t wait to get her hands on you and it drove me mad. As a breastfed baby who wouldn’t take a bottle, leaving you with anyone was not an option for me and not something I had any desire to do. Any way slightly reluctantly at some point I started leaving you for the odd hour here and there while I did the grocery shopping or went to an appointment, always rushing back as soon as I could as I hated being separated from you. That hour or so gradually got longer until grandma was looking after you for the occasional full day and then the happier you seemed with being left, the more comfortable I felt and evolution progressed onto the occasional over night visit with grandma. It is so special to see you both together and I love how happy you are to leave me and how equally happy you are to see me again when you come home. You usually go to grandmas for two days a week and one night. you literally have her wrapped around your little finger and I love hearing about all the exciting things you get up to together. I remember spending the night at my grandmas when I was younger and they are amongst some of my fondest memories so I hope that will be the case for you.
So for me the reason this selfie is so special is because it symbolises your very special, ever evolving relationship. You keep her young and she grows you up.
A selfie first, her first granddaughter, the look on your faces, how your hood is up because she will have been worried you might get too cold, the smile on your grandmas face because she is with you. So many things to love about such a simple selfie.
So I have saved it for you and hope you see and appreciate its value when you are older.