My friend Matt took this photograph yesterday. I didn’t realise it at the time because Sam was dealing with some big feelings, and I was helping him out. Candid shots are a common occurrence when one of your closest friends is a photographer. When he emailed it to me his message said: “It might seem like a photo of Sam being sad, but it’s really a photo of you being a great mum.” I think I made a wee sob noise.
As Sam becomes more independent, he bangs up against the rules of the world. I’m doing my best to help him. It’s pretty hard, and some days I simply don’t cope and have to tag someone else in (single parents I applaud you; I am very thankful to have a partner). Yesterday we spent twenty minutes sitting on the pavement while Sam cried and bargained and threw his arms and legs around. Eventually we went to the park, and he was back to being a joyful kid.
I wanted to post this photograph because it’s a beautiful shot, and because it’s a special moment between me and my son, and because it isn’t the usual smiling family portrait. Sam’s learning to live in a world with rules, and I’m learning how to be a mother to a three-year-old. That’s the good stuff.