As a mom of two, I wear many hats: entertainer, educator, nourisher, snuggler, transporter, healer, disciplinarian, friend. But sometimes, on rare occassions, I am able to take off my hats and just observe. I usually can't contain myself and must photograph these quiet moments, so I am still in the role of documenter, but I do relish those times when I can just sit and watch my children be themselves.
Usually when this happens, Daddy is home, teaching Jax a thing or two, or putting himself in the role of wrestling mat. With Em he is in the role of smile-inducer. She saves most of her smiles throughout the day for Daddy when he gets home.
The superfluous times also come when both of the kids are self-directed, entertaining themselves. It doesn't happen simultaneously very often, unless the entertainment is in the form of one Mickey Mouse, but when it does, I always kick back and watch them do their own thing.
For Jax, that always included reading or things that go. He has started making ramps, and zooming down a book or a random piece of wood is one of his favorite ways to pass the time.
For Em, she likes nothing better than to watch her brother as he zooms, vrooms, pushes and pulls, launches and crashes. She is his biggest fan. His groupie.
I don't mind taking off my many hats and feeling superfluous now and again. That's when I really get to see the wonderful people my kids are becoming--the unique quirks and personalities embedded in their habits and joys. If I don't stop and take it all in every once in a while, I could miss it. Or God forbid, not photograph it. And that woulde be sadder for me still than not being involved in the fun.