Last night, I walked home from the train station with an enormous skip in my step and small tears in my eyes. Silly probably. The magic that is a smart phone meant that as I was wrangling the two kiddos off the train, an email popped into my phone informing me the above photo is going to be in the 2011 Ideal Homes Calendar.
Its a small thing. Just a wee competition that a blog reader, Mairi, had sent me. I submitted my photo and stood back and waited. I didn't have any hope at all that I would make it through. I watched as other photos rolled in...amazing views of lochs and mountains, stunning seascapes, snow-covered hillsides, gorgeous old buildings. Even at the end of the public voting, coming in 8th of almost 300 didn't fill me with much hope. My photo was of my neighbour's laundry...but I was wrong.
Its the first time in a long while that I've had a success that is mine. In the world of small children, the sucesses that are celebrated are often those that actually have very little to do with me; a baby's first crawl, a boy's first soccer lesson. So much of motherhood is about facilitating other people's triumphs and fading quietly to the back. It can get lonely back there.
This success is mine and I am so pleased and proud...but to say that my children had nothing to do with it is not entirely true.
On that particular day, Georgia was inconsolable and wouldn't sleep. I'd taken her out for a walk in the fields in her pushchair with the camera. As we headed back, still not asleep, I stopped and caught a glimpse of the man's laundry against the hills. Snap.
And the rest is an Ideal Homes calendar.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mairi, for letting me know!!
Edited to say: Just heard back from the competition organisers. It'll be the month of February and apparently they loved my photo and I was just pipped to the post!!! Wow oh wow!!