What do you do with an unexpected hug?

Nursery Gym

Set in the middle of London not far from Euston Station is one of my favourite places: Kate Greenaway Nursery School. As my colleague and I passed in from the hectic adult world of central London, I could feel the atmosphere change – this was a place where children come first. Eight years ago I had worked with Julian Grenier to create furniture layouts for the rooms. This time Raymond and I brought our cameras to spend a few hours with their youngest children, taking photos for an upcoming resource.

We learned from the staff which parents had agreed to having their children photographed.  I settled myself in the outdoor area to try to capture action on the Nursery gym – when suddenly I received a hug! The hugger was around 18 months old, and his hug told me I was welcome.  However, that wasn’t the end.  A hug means we’re pals, right? And that has consequences!  After examining the camera, my new friend toddled off and returned with a picture book. I put the camera aside, and it was story time. The furniture can wait, the perfect shot can wait, but a child cannot wait.

We took away some nice images embedded in the memory chips of our cameras (some of which will appear in a new training resource to come out in September). But I took away something much more precious: embedded in my heart is that moment of trust which only a child can bestow.

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