Annie Lance, portrait photographer : blog

A black & white portrait photographer. Documenting children & their people. Wakefield, QC

Siblings and March Break.

This year, we march breaked differently. Well, it seems everything is different this year, but in particular this week. Last year, Elizabeth & Alexandre were in a mostly-outdoor waldorf kindergarten two days a week and got TWO weeks of winter break. This year, they go to very-much-indoor-much-to-their-chagrin-school five days a week and got five days off. well, nine with the week-ends. A lovely break to be certain, but as you can see, different.

There was hockey and playdates galore. There was winter playing and there was winter hiding - from the frigid cold that is not typical here in march. There were shopping trips to IKEA (for my kids, this is like an amusement park!) for the girl's room and lazy lunch dates out in the village. There was playing in the forest, away from all things connected to power. There was family and tea. There were long ski outings and skating. There were giggles galore. But best of all, for this mama, there was play. Togetherness.

School has such a rushed feeling. They're only away from the house for seven hours a day - but it seems we rush to get out and rush the second they're home. This rush, especially the evening one, is more fabricated than real - but it's still there. During this week, my children got up when they woke up. They went to bed knowing they wouldn't have to rush in the morning. We embraced lazy. And they embraced play. Like it used to be, before the busyness of school got in our way.

They have such different relationships these children of ours. Elizabeth is like a little mama to Juliette, their play is almost always Elizabeth being the leader, Juliette the follower, in some fashion. Mama/baby. Teacher/student. On this day, they had just finished a french dance class in the living room. and now they were doodling by the window. Well, Elizabeth was doodling, with input from Juliette.

Elizabeth & Alexandre on the otherhand, very much have a twin relationship. They're also in the same class, so before long on this week long break they were playing school and Alexandre was filling in the blanks where Elizabeth would forget a word to a song or even a typical saying by a teacher. She's the people person, the animated one. She can go from reading a book to putting on a production. And he's amazing at helping her get there. And if you give him a guitar, forget about it. He takes centre stage and not so gently makes her move out of the way.

And Juliette & Alexandre... this relationship has been challenging -- but at times, it's one of play, together. Even though there are FOUR years between them, they can play TOGETHER. He's good at taking care of her when he wants, but he can also play with her. Silly. the same game. Which is heartwarming and remarkable all at once. Of course it has it's moment and place - his zone is off limit to his little sister - but when they actually play together alone, it's an amazing thing to witness as a parent.

And now, they're back in school. Post march break and post daylight saving time adjustments. Just as we got a lovely dose of lazy last week, we got quite the opposite this week. I'm getting over the flu - so it's been one parent on, and tired children re-ajusting to routine. We're all very much looking forward to Friday evening I think.