2,3,4.

Our family shifts shape a lot. With Matti with us Thursday to Sunday and Ruskin coming during all the UK school holidays, there are two, three or four children at home. During Matti's holidays Anton usually sleeps curled beside him for a week or two and then he is gone. Some weeks we are a busy household of four and then on Sunday afternoon we are down to the two littlest. What has surprised me most is that this situation feels more fluid and functional than I thought it would, but of course there are moments when I notice every flaw in the linoleum, every peel in the paint. Back in my university days a very wise woman told me the saying 'the soul travels at the speed of a trotting camel'. Ruskin and I have sat on a camel together as it sank and rose, ambling forward across a small part of the vast Sahara and I can still feel the speed a camel travels in my bones! So it is no surprise that the fast pace of goodbyes and airport drop offs that create the rhythm of life here can leave me feeling as if I am the stationary point in a time lapse photograph.

The good thing is that, apart from needing my camel to be moving a little quicker than it would like, and most often catching up with me some time after events, the kids are doing fine. I always find it something of a shock when Ruskin arrives happy and relaxed and so comfortable in his own skin. I remember spending my teenage years feeling like my body was a strange, wobbly, thing that had attached itself to the real me, so witnessing his confident navigation of these years leaves me quite bewildered and very relieved. I love doing the laundry when Ruskin is home, partly because it is a pleasure to do the practicalities of parenting him during the short time he is here, but mostly because it is nice to stand alone on the balcony smoothing out the evidence of his speedy growth. And though it only really feels as if my camel and I move as one when all four of our children are under one roof there is pleasure in all the forms our family takes.

3 in Beşiktaş.

3 in Beşiktaş.

3 in Beşiktaş.

Come on Ruskin.

Shadow Ruskin.

Anton and Ruskin.

Boat watching.

Anton and Ruskin.

Neve looking at Topkapı Palace.

What Neve sees.


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5 thoughts on “2,3,4.

  1. love the pictures of them together, you must be so proud of all of them!

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  2. I really admire how you capture the changing dynamics of our family. It is not only that each of us develops and that our children come and go that changes relations, I feel like the relations between each of us and all of us also have changing 'relations between relations'. The way Matti and Anton are with each other now changes the way Ruskin and Matti or Ruskin and Anton are with each other, just as Matti sometimes opportunistically drops his bond with Anton when Ruskin is here. Sometimes that siblinghood while Ruskin is here is quite linked to the PSP too. As Hazal said on the boat the other day when the battery on her iPad ran out and Matti came back to us: "Out of battery, out of friendship".

    The photos are beautiful, with the boat window on the last as a frame and the bottle of water on that frame. I also love the bending light patterns around our children on the first few photos.

    It will be lovely with Christmas soon, all the children being around for a longer time. And it is nice to have so much talent in one's spouse!

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  3. Oh Ville is definitely right... these pics are adorable... you are incredibly talented. I often try to learn out of such captures and from great photographers like you are... unfortunately I´m not doing very well. Nevertheless I love my pics because my babies, who I adore, are on them!

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  4. Julia, what a beautiful post for a beautiful family - the words and the photographs are just so inspiring here.

    I am so glad you followed me because it allowed me to discover your blog too.

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  5. Wow you're a fantastic writer! (from one lover of words to another :-P)

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