This week my daughter had an, ‘I don’t know what to do’ moment. I was in the middle of doing something and said the first thing that came into my mind. We have several volumes of photos all neatly put into albums in chronological order. Sometimes we look at these, but more often than not we take out a battered old shoe box containing all those photos that never made the albums. I am not sure why. Perhaps it is because we like the feeling of holding the photos, perhaps it is the haphazard order of the photos, adding that element of surprise as we flick through them.
Remembering how my daughter likes to look at these photos I told her to go and look through the box and find some photos that showed things she missed, some that showed things that made her happy and others that made her laugh. It did the trick; she scuttled off on her mission, leaving me free to complete whatever chore I was in the middle of.
Later on we sat down together and discussed her choices. It was quite revealing in some ways and a nice activity. So, here are her choices and the reason she chose them:Things she misses:
- A picture of Ariel, the cat we had in the UK. We decided not to take him on aliyah as we knew we were going to move about a bit initially and thought it would be unsettling for him. He ended up living on a farm.
- A picture of her and her brother as toddlers, sharing a bath together. They are covered in bubble bath ‘mustaches’ and ‘beards’. The house we are renting now only has a shower and all of us miss having a nice, long, soak in the tub.
- A picture of her and her brother crouching down, surrounded by white, crisp snow, with a recently made snowman proudly displayed between them. She has very fond memories of playing out in the snow, not exactly a common pursuit in Israel.
- A photo of her and her granddad. We don’t get to see him as often as other relatives and she wishes that she was able to see more of him.
Things that make her laugh:
- A picture of her riding a horse during a day out at a farm. She is as big as a minute with a cumbersome helmet on. She thinks it’s a great photo. It reminds her of a nice day out and she just looks funny being so small on top of a big horse.
- A photo of her in her stroller. This makes her laugh because we often relate stories to her about how she always hated walking and we had to lug that buggy everywhere with us or carry her. We say she was like a spoilt princess who didn’t deign to walk.
Things that make her happy;
- She chose a couple of pictures of her and her brother holding hands, hugging and being close. They have got to an age when they do not get on as well as they used to and my daughter misses the previous closeness which these photos represent.
- A picture of her riding her scooter in the back alley behind our house. She and her brother spent many a happy hour there, riding up and down, kicking a ball about, playing with the neighbours’ dogs etc. It was a very unexceptional photo that captured a very routine part of her week. It did however remind her of carefree times out after school and over the weekend, again being best buddies with her brother.
I am really pleased we sat down together and did this. It sparked a lovely conversation and was a good way for her to voice a few concerns.