Friday, 6 November 2015

A week of nature walks with baby Benny.

I’m only a week and a bit into being a dad, but already I’ve felt a huge feeling of reawakening to the world around me, and to the things in life I love.  Every day starts in a similar way.  I get up early and take Benny out on one of our little nature walks for an hour or two.  This gives me some good quality time with my son at the beginning of each day, and allows Katherine to take some time off and rest by herself at home.  

It’s difficult to know what, if anything, Benny takes in from our nature walks so early in his life; but I hope that being out in the woods at dawn, listening to the birds singing, will also start to rub off on him and become a comforting part of his life.  

There’s a great deal of woodland and farmland around where we live, so all our walks are in relatively quiet, misty places – and so I take photos in these places every day too.  Having a baby strapped to your chest also makes a walk a more outwardly sociable affair.  All the dog walkers we meet stop and want to know all about him and see his face, which is otherwise tucked up against my chest. 

Maybe Benny will grow to love the outdoors, but for now it's a good opportunity for him to love sleeping as he's tucked up tight against the warmth of my chest.  All my rocking back and forth, trying to find the best angle, lining the snails up against the right colour in the background, or the right chink of light, helps soothe him in his slumber.

He mostly sleeps throughout the walks at the moment, and my style of photography helps with this.  I hardly ever use tripods, so I’m constantly rocking back and forth with him strapped to me, I’m finding an angle and he’s being soothed off to sleep as I feel him kicking, learning, breathing and hiccupping gently against me.

We get home and it’s time for breakfast and piano practice.  Sometimes the carrying harness stays on, and I play with him strapped to me; sometimes I just play with him lying across my lap. 

Life is being enriched by his presence every day, and as I get his senses going to the world around him, I’m also spending much more time doing the things that make life great.  I think we’re good for each other.

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