When you are a boisterous young boy, it can seem quite a stretch to welcome a new baby sister into the house. So when that baby sister has a sister and you find yourself dealing with twins, well then there’s even more adjusting to do.
You’ll be learning to share your toys. Which is tough. But luckily you have that grace period, where your sisters can’t reach the best toys you have, and their little legs don’t stretch down far enough to ride your rocking horse. For a while, they have to stick to cuddles with Mum and Dad. This is not a bad option.
But it’s a good thing that Mum and Dad have arms and hearts big enough to cuddle their entire family. And those gorgeous twin girls – they have the benefit of a big brother to show them the ropes of growing up.
Maybe the girls can’t ride the rocking horse, but they can already enjoy the comfort of Mum on the rocking chair.
But you are the big boy of the house. You don’t have the time to just sit about. You have responsibilities. Like making sure that horse of yours is feed well. You can’t canter over hill and vale on air.
A big, juicy, red apple should do the trick. With or without your own little teeth marks on it.
Waste not, want not. If the horse can’t finish it, the boy rider can.
If he wasn’t hiding behind a cuddly bear, he was proudly showing me his toy collection. And with his stash, he has every reason to be proud.
In this family, Mum is a keen collector of beautiful things. So when I walked into his bedroom, it was like revisiting my own childhood – and my parent’s childhood too. I’m sure I remember a picture of my Dad pushing around a toy dog just like this one. I’m sure I remember playing with that same toy, dug out of the garage at my Grandparents’ house.
Just seeing that dog, tied with a ribbon and a bell, brought all of those memories back to me in a rush – the long drive through London, the afternoon teas, reading books to Grandma on the sofa, and picking apples from Grandpa’s trees at the bottom of the garden.
One look and they were all there – the warm comfort of the familiar.
I hope that these images bring the memories flooding back to this family – to when the kids were young and loved to cuddle. Each photograph is a little bit of the past made present – a moment made physical, to be held, relived and loved all over again.
For the twin sisters, they have a link back to a time before they can remember, to when their brother was big and rode wooden horses for fun.