From Charlotte’s Eyes

I see the notification pop up on Facebook alerting me to a new post from our daughter’s preschool teacher. My computer sits on the countertop open to the recipe I’m preparing for dinner, the TV sings Daniel Tiger’s song mesmerizing the kids, and Lars, our dog waits for a treat. I quickly click over and see pictures from the last few days of preschool. I scroll through them, one by one, smiling at kids drawing, maneuvering an obstacle course, swinging at the playground, and reading books. One caption grabs my attention: Some photos from Wednesday afternoon taken by our student photographer, Charlotte.

The next few photos include close ups of my daughter’s friends and their smiles, the teacher reading to a student in the rocking chair, one page of a book. And one picture of Charlotte’s reflection in a mirror taking in the preschool environment. The photos show me the way my daughter sees her friends and class: close-up, joyful, and full of life.

A few weeks later my husband and I are sitting with the preschool teacher learning about Charlotte’s class and how she’s doing. Surrounded by books and the noise of children playing, we listen intently, gaining glimpses into her life at preschool.

This is Charlotte’s third year of preschool and for the first two years her speech was so limited that we never learned anything she did or experienced at preschool from her. The pictures posted on Facebook through those two years were the only glimpses we received into her hours there.

This year, however, we’re hearing from Charlotte.

“My friends like my snack today.”
“We didn’t play at the park today.”
“I love Ms. Lucy, Ms. Kathy, Ms. Marcia.”
“We played with parachute today!”

And now we also see what she’s witnessing through her own photos. “I just love Charlotte’s perspective,” her teacher tells us. “She’s always thinking about others and her photos show just that.”

There is no more preschool for the remainder of the year, but I continue to let Charlotte share her perspective through photos. As I’m trying to make sense of this pandemic, our world, and who we’ll be on the other side, I keep writing and journaling. But I’m also letting Charlotte guide the way. I want to see what she sees and savor the way the world looks through her eyes.

The pictures below were all taken by Charlotte during our stay at home time. When I need to be reminded of hope and joy, I give her the camera so she can keep pointing me to the light.


**This post was written as part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to read the next post in this series "Go Where the Light Is."

**Go where the light is Photo Credit: @pheonixfeatherscalligraphy for C+C, 2020

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