Ever feel like life is moving so fast that you’ve forgotten how to stop and be present?
This is the story about about a frog and how he taught me to open my eyes.
Talk with any professional photographer this time of year, and they will echo the craziness that comes with the fall portrait rush. Ask any parent, and they will recite a laundry list of school activities and extra curricular commitments they need to keep straight. It’s a lot to balance. One look at the state of my house at any given moment, and you’ll see why it’s safe to say that housekeeping is the first thing to go when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Typically triggered by the embarrassment of an unexpected visitor or the fact that I have a knack for misplacing just about everything, I will have these “I just can’t take it anymore moments” and embark on a hog-wild, obsessive cleaning binge.
Which brings me to how I met my little friend.
A couple years ago, my husband built an amazing treehouse for our kids. Due to the Parental Effort vs Actual Child Appreciation Law of Inverse, it sits there mainly unused. That doesn’t stop it from being a giant mess. Fed up with the crushed chalk all over the floor, the damp books, the scraps of god-knows-what left behind by the critters who made their home there over the winter, my “I can’t take it anymore” moment erupted. I had a hundred other projects that were probably more pressing, but these cleaning binges aren’t always rationally timed. Armed and dangerous with a bucket, sponge and shop vac, I furiously cleaned. Whatever was in my wake went straight up the shop vac. I was far too annoyed by my kids’ messiness to separate the broken crayons from the missing pieces to our Monopoly game. I was rushing and I was resentful. And I came within centimeters from sucking this guy right up the hose.
He was hiding under a seat cushion. I assumed it was yet another plastic toy creating clutter. I don’t know what made me pause and take a closer look, but I did. “Oh my gosh. It’s alive!” I called for the kids and they immediately dashed over with the kind of excitement you would expect if I had said I spotted Santa Clause. He had wild, sticky feet that grabbed on to you like glue. We took turns. None of us had ever held a tree frog before.
The client emails, the editing, the dirty dishes, the homework, the soccer practice we were running late for…
None of it mattered as we admired this tiny guy and the wonder of nature he was – a gift of peace amidst the chaos.
I’ve decided to hang a print of this image in my office to serve as a reminder. May it remind me to take the time to pause, to find the beauty in slowness, and to appreciate the little wonders.
NH child photography is Kami Friday’s area of speciality. Kami is a lifestyle photographer based in Southern NH. She serves families throughout New Hampshire and the Greater Boston area including Nashua, Hollis, Amherst, Londonderry, Groton and Bedford.
If you would like to learn more on this topic, I found these podcasts to be a fantastic place to start. (They make great food for thought and help pass the time while I’m editing portrait sessions – Win/win!)
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