Last night, my husband and I were enjoying some peace and quiet as our daughters played in the bath. We had left them there, intending to just briefly, so we could get some things done as they're more reliable and self-aware in the bathtub these days. He and I got to talking, and as we tend to do (especially in the evenings), we got into our discussions of theology, the church, where we are in life, etc. and time passed. However, our kids were suspiciously quiet. Too quiet. I realized just how peculiar it was for them to be quiet for so long, but I was SO reveling in our calm that I let it go on longer than usual.
Finally, I decided that there was no way this quiet was a result of anything other than mischief. So, I walked into the bathroom.
Our daughters, Eden + Zoë (ages 5 and 3), had taken about half a container of Crayola's "Bath Dropz" (that Z is so helpful, isn't it? Ha!) and dumped them into the tub - presumably after rubbing themselves with them and using them as paint. If you've never used these before, you're smart - like I was until my daughters begged to get them for so long that I finally caved in.
Essentially, this was one of those moments where they had been SO bad and made SUCH a mess that I couldn't stop laughing. I know, probably not the best way to parent. But I just could NOT stop laughing.
And as a photographer, my mind immediately went to how this is too beautifully true to childhood not to capture it and treasure this peculiar, hilarious, colorful, innocent moment where my kids were just so excited over the power of this instrument that they couldn't help but bypass any desire to do what they knew they SHOULD do because this was simply TOO MUCH FUN.
I ran and got my camera as I yelled "Wait! DO NOT WASH IT OFF YET!" Of course, they were, because they knew that even in my laughter, they'd been caught doing something they shouldn't have done... and Daddy was not laughing at the time. He's pragmatic and responsible. I'm a laugher, and I was most definitely laughing.
So, we took these photos. I love them. To me, this is childhood. These images show their deep camaraderie, their love of art, their curiosity and naughtiness, their glee over this sort of naughty and yet also delightful misbehavior. I know that there are concerns about sharing bath photos, so I am only sharing images (and/or editing them to be!) that are, in my husband and my opinion, appropriate and discrete - and which I'll treasure in the same way as my mom treasured a photo of me, completely naked and covered in a variety of lipstick colors, sitting on the potty as a kid about their age. However, I'll treasure ALL of these images, perhaps even more so the more revealing ones where you can see them blissfully wallowing in near black water. Those, however, we'll save for just the family.
There is a beautiful place for snapshots in our lives and the lives of our children, along with the lasting importance of some intentional portraits. I love both of these sort of images - the ones that are more about a moment, and the ones that are more about a person. It is my joy to create imagery and treasure this life through visuals.
I can't help it. I remember in photographs, in images... Immediately the connection between my own childhood and that of my children came when I heard them consumed with giggles and mischief. I loved this moment, despite the clean up... and then was delightfully surprised to have it all culminate in their first ever shower! Turns out a shower is almost as fun as making a rainbow and the color black in the bath tub. (I was going to make a joke about unicorns, but I'll let that one go...)
My favorite quotes from the shower experience are below. Zoë just kept giggling quietly, and standing to the side, occasionally dipping herself into the stream of water, and then backing away hesitantly. They both liked it, but Eden LOVED it and I think Zoë mostly wanted to share in the experience over the actual shower, itself. ;)