Welcome to Artefact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles in our journeys. Through our writings and photographs, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artefacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come.
“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.”
- A.A.Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
I remember coming across this quote when you were babies. As soon as I saw it, I had an inkling how very true those words would be. Aside from motherhood being this one long and continuous adventure — the kind that is rewarding in the best ways — I realise that the best adventures I have had with you are the simple adventures that we have made together.
When I was a kid, I remember the happiest days of my childhood were when we went for a day out or on a little road trip somewhere. Your Gung Gung (your maternal grandfather) would pack us all into the car and drive to places, like Stonehenge or Bath. Anywhere that was within a commutable two hour journey from our home in Middlesex. We would also go somewhere a little closer to home to places, like Windsor Castle and take a tour inside the castle grounds. I realise now that we weren’t the typical British family in how we spent our weekends. Our outings were more like a guided tour of England and checking off ‘must-see’ places as you’d might find in a Lonely Planet Guide of Britain. I remember watching the Changing of the Guards at Whitehall and going to the British Museum in London.
Your Gung Gung would say that I was lucky to get to see so many places when we were young, both home and abroad. He was right. Some of my favourite childhood memories come from going on these trips. The excitement of simply being on a journey, not knowing what to expect and seeing different places or experience another cultural way of life. It made for some exciting adventures — I’d say more than the sight themselves.
We also had days where the pace was a little gentler. Sunday mornings spent at car boot sales or going camping. I remember we went to a Pick Your Own Fruit and Vegetable farm once. Coming away with red-stained fingers from berry juices and bellies secretly filled with some of the fruits that didn’t quite land into the tubs where we were meant to be putting our pickings. Even these small and simple pleasures stuck firmly in my memory as some of the best childhood adventures I had growing up.
Since you’ve both come along, I have been dreaming of all the adventures we could make together. Dipping into my own childhood memories for inspiration and hoping to share with you some of those same happy experiences that I had. I know you won’t be enthusiastic with all of them at first. Quite often you will both ask me a zillion questions (the what/where/why/how), before we get a chance to put on your shoes and head out of the door. That can be extremely frustrating at times. How can I explain away your apprehensions? Or tell you that part of the joy comes in the experience and perhaps not knowing what to expect until you have tried it for yourself?
While you are both young, I want to broaden your horizons and help you get involved in as many activities as you can, and not necessarily going for the obvious. I can guarantee that you will always come home smiling, having enjoyed the activities and talking about those little things that only the little minds of yours can fully appreciate.
Of course, I know that stepping back and letting the both of you take the lead is also valuable rather than have everything all planned out for you. I promise you will have plenty of your own adventures too. I also see, more and more, as both of you are growing up and finding company in each other as well as making your own friends. You currently love to climb trees and play pretend-fights.
With the summer holidays approaching, I am looking forward to the next six weeks doing things with you and spending our time together. I know this time will go by quickly. I was reminded recently how few the summers we will have to fully spend together. You’ll eventually make your own plans and head off on your own adventures. I hope when that time comes you can both draw on your special memories from your own childhood adventures.