London, United Kingdom
I came home welcomed with tireless screaming. That could mean only one thing — my roommate's kids were back for the week. An invisible drop of sweat formed on my forehead, knowing that I won’t get much sleep in the next seven days.
My roommate was sitting on the floor with a tired look on his face. The kids were running around in circles, playing some silly made-up game. Our eyes met for a moment, but instead of greeting me, he just released a quiet sigh. I stayed there for a bit, joining the party, but it wasn’t long before I retreated to my room, completely drained of any energy.
A few hours later, I came back to fetch some food. The kids were riding their dad as a horse, with sounds of laughter and happiness filling out the room.
I woke up around 7 in the morning to the same sounds of screaming piercing through the walls. It was kindergarten time, and the little one was throwing some food-related tantrum.
I put my headphones on and played Ludovico Einaudi, in an attempt to cancel the noise. Needless to say, it didn't help.
Instead of being annoyed as I usually would, a strong feeling of respect for my roommate overwhelmed me; respect that I rarely felt or showed to my parents, just because I had never really understood how much effort and love is needed to raise a child.
I quickly grabbed my phone feeling a strong urge to write to my mom, only to see that her message had already been waiting for me. "You could sometimes call your mother, you know," it said.
Happy birthday, mom. This is for all the times I didn't call you.
15 mm, f/4.5, 120 s (10-stop ND filter), ISO 1000 (yes, 1000)