Today is my sweet darling Indigo's fifth birthday. I had a mini nervous breakdown when Oslo turned five. Not at his turning five so much, but at my not having been around enough leading up to that monumental milestone. So this time last year, things changed - a lot. And so today, I celebrated Indigo's birthday with nothing but bliss in my heart. No guilt or resentment - pure glee at seeing my beloved girl so proud to be so big, and so happy to have a day specially dedicated to her. Sure, I am still a million light years behind on my photos, but I accept now that I am not a super woman, but just a typical loving mama bear with a career I love too. So I know that I will feel stretched in every direction a little too much a little too often, but also I know that my little girl loves me and most of all loves spending time with me, so that is the most important, and although I adore adore my job, I adore her more. So today was spent baking, making mad organic gluten, dairy and sugar free icings that actually still were firm enough to stick, and actually tasted amazing - a miracle. I have been gathering up a few (ok - a lot..) of my fave photos taken of this beautiful child over the past year. Last year's post wasn't nearly so packed with pics, but how could I choose - each image show her different sides and I just love them all.
I don't necessarily think this scraggy look is her most beautiful, but it is her most typical. Like I said, I am a little pulled in too many different directions, so something invariably has to give somewhere. In Indigo's case, it is her hair and state of dress. She looks like a street urchin most of the time - I usually look at her and think she belongs on the set of Les Miserables, and I do worry that maybe her eyesight is being affected looking through that mop all the time. But to me, this wild look also represents freedom. She is not having to sit still while her hair is pulled tight, and she is not stuffed into formal clothing - she is running free in the garden and playing as a child should play. Realistically, she would be nudie too if these pics were a true depiction of her, as that is her most common state of being, but in her nightie is pretty typical too, even if the morning has rolled into afternoon and then back into night. Who cares when you are five, right?
One of our favourite places to go is Mickey's on the beach. We can have a lovely family dinner, and then the kids go frolic on the beach while Ben and I have date night. It is always the perfect night and Oslo and Indigo always make friends with the children of other diners. And on special occasions, they have a special treat which of course they love love love.
This image below is also very Indigo - she adores wearing all my special pettiskirts and playing with my accessories I use for my shoots. She just looks like an angel to me... I look at her and think, can nobody else see what I am seeing? She is the most glorious creature ever put upon this planet. How are people not stopping me all the time and telling me that she is just the most divine girl who has ever walked the earth - it is odd really - perhaps people are shy and just keeping their thoughts to themselves. I know the truth though. Baby Bore Mama Bear knows!
Isn't she just so pretty here - I inherited this dress and the balls from a friend and client. I will do an entire post about them - such fun pics.
Below was her tribute to the Royal Wedding.
Love this series I shot with my macro - the many moods of Indigo...
Indigo's two favourite things to do are to sing and dance. She does this mad operatic voice all the time, singing about how beautiful the planet is and how thankful she is. Not sure where she learned to sing like this - we really don't listen to that much opera - but she really gets into it and Ben and I often wake up in the morning to the sound of her voice outside our window as she wanders around the garden in the early hours expressing her elation at so much beauty around her and in the world (or should I say - "weuhld" - she has a very funky English accent!).
And ballet. She loves it. Last year was her first time and she was instantly hooked. Her Aunty Amanda was a dancer so perhaps she will follow that path, as long as she promises not to push her turn out or over extend and end up in pain and hyper mobile later in life - not fun! Also, she has to promise to eat healthily and not smoke - no starving herself the wrong way!!
This image reminds me of a photo from a book I loved when I was young called "A Very Young Dancer" - well - the feeling of the image - not the messy hair! All those dancers had slicked back buns, but same idea nonetheless!
After her bath at night, she loves to come into my room and pretend she is a princess - yes, you read that right. If any of you read my post from last year, I wrote pwincess. But a month or two ago, she started pronouncing her "r"s correctly. I have to say, I was gutted. I really adored all those misplaced "w"s. She is such a big girl now. Wish I could let her grow older, but then still get to spend time with the baby and the little girl every once in a while too.
She likes to play with my jewelry and sit on all our regal chairs and sofas. I have an antique washstand full of jewelry and she loves to sort through it and try things on. Sometimes I mock crossness as she moves everything around and I can't find it later, but to be truthful, I simply adore that she plays here as it so reminds me of the imaginary games I myself played as a child. And then I think how she will remember these times in my room and all my things and it makes me happy to know such special memories are being made.
Half of the time, it is me making Indigo dress up if I have a new prop or idea I want to try out. It is amazing I get any good shots of her as I am never as nice or entertaining to her as I am to my clients. Instead of thinking of what makes her laugh, I just bark at her what to do and if she doesn't do as I ask, I threaten her. Can you imagine if I did that with my poor subjects on real photo shoots? I would never be hired again. I really need to work on doing and saying what makes her happy when I take pics the way I do for other people - poor love. That is probably why she looks haunted in so many images - she is utterly terrified of me. When I am not shooting her, she is just a little ham making jokes, but most of my pics make her look like Little Miss Serious!
This afternoon we had a sweet little tea party for her with some family friends. Not all her god parents and their kids were on the island, but enough came to make it special and make her feel special. I love that her favourite gift was from one of her goddess mamas who handed down something she had had as a child - something so small but oh so special and Indigo was swept up into the world of imagination that Heather had lived when she was a girl. Very special indeed. Heather even said that maybe one day Indigo could hand the gift down to her own godchild, but Indigo was so smitten that she announced she would keep it forever and ever.
We must have sung happy birthday to her about 10 times today and she blew out at least 4 sets of candles. Aunty Amanda came over for a wee family lunch where we devoured an apple crumble. And then baked and iced a brownie cake and some muffins this afternoon, but have these pics from another tea party so just wanted to capture the feel of the day. It was heaven. Isn't the bee below so cute?
Happy birthday my darling. I wish I could capture all the sweet things you say. I love that you say you will never leave us - that you will grow up and marry and have children but that you will always stay with me. I love that at night in bed when we do thankful time, always the first thing you say is that you are thankful for me and for my love. Ever since you could just barely speak - you didn't even understand the concept - Oslo would gush different things, but you always said - I am thankful that I love you. Although you now say so many other incredibly insightful and sweet things, you still say that first and for that, I am thankful. I love how you are such a cuddler and come into bed with me in the mornings, and kiss me to death at night. I love your obsession with our little Crabbie and Crockie game, even though my hands are always floppy in the morning when you want to play. I love how you name each and every one of your gazillion toys on your bed, and remember their names and specific things about them. I love how you love to hide and are shy and cheeky at the same time. I love how you are so feminine, but keep up with Daddy and Oslo at the best of times. You are so nurturing and look after me sometimes more that I feel I look after you. I love how you love hearts as much as me and I simply adore the quirky way in which you draw them and I will be as sad when that changes as I was when you dropped your "w"s and replaced them with "r"s. I love how your are really testing boundaries right now (ok - maybe not that bit quite so much) but do love how responsive you are when I teach you right from wrong. I love how sensitive you are and how that totally shapes who you are in so many ways. I know you are resistant to change, but love how happy you are when you discover what you so feared was nothing to be feared at all. You are a fun, fabulous, loving, kooky little love bug and you make my world a thousand times more splendid that I ever could have imagined. Thank you for being you and for always loving me, no matter what. Happy 5th birthday my sweet angel love, Indigo. xxxxxxx