Kids are very good at living in the moment. It helps that they haven't yet amassed the numerous responsibilities of adulthood which, when left unchecked, cause us to regret various things of the past and worry about the future. But the present moment, the one we're in at any given second, is where we find true joy; how many times an hour has passed that felt like a second because we're truly in the 'zone', engaged in an activity that feels not just enjoyable but somehow effortless?
There's also an element of surrender, of completely letting go of control of the outcome, something else kids are wonders at and which we adults, not so much as a general rule.
Photography has taken a back seat for me recently as I try hard to focus on the rather overwhelming day to day challenges of trying to build my woven wrap business. But when I was contacted to shoot some photos for skincare brand, Neutral 0%, I asked Lucy what she thought about collaborating on the project - her response was a very animated "Yes!" I like the idea of these products - I don't want to put chemicals on my skin!" Neutral 0% is a Scandinavian company dedicated to minimising our skins' exposure to unnecessary chemical irritants - no colours, no perfumes, no parabens; they have spent 25 years working with the Danish Asthma and Allergy Association too and are fantastic for every stage of parenthood and beyond. We couldn't wait to get stuck in and try everything from the Neutral 0% Explore Bundle. It's never felt right to me to put chemical-filled products on either my skin or that of my children, nor to mask their own sweet scent with something artificially fragranced. They all love the body lotion so much, I have now a queue at bedtime for relaxing massage requests - I'm only too happy to oblige - it's a time for us to chat and relax together, staying in that all important moment...
Excited about Neutral 0% and our collaborative project, off Lucy and I went to find flowers and to trawl a junk shop for props we thought might work well. The goal, to have fun and see what we came up with together.
Which brings me back to relinquishing creative control. Although I know Lucy is very creative and imaginative, I had no idea how any of this would pan out. You know when you give your kids carte blanche to decorate the Christmas tree and you need half a bottle of wine to prepare yourself for the outcome..? Well, this was a bit like that, but without the wine...
So, I relaxed and enjoyed, not just the process, but also - and quite simply - the time spent with my child, watching her create and learn on her own terms.
What did I learn? That adults most definitely don't know best and that kids have a lot to teach us, not just about living in the moment, but also about the creative process. They are also pretty staunch in their values, even at 7 years old... Oh, and being reminded about the importance of touch through massage - it helps us humans thrive.