As much as I wish I was… I am NOT a photographer. Not only do I lack the talent, I lack the ability to remember to get out my camera or even my phone, that’s with me all the time, because I’m usually too busy chasing around one of my children to get a shot of another. And then…there are times when the moment is so absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t dare disturb it.
Every year Rick and I attempt to take Christmas pictures…and almost every other year we get one that’s decent enough to send out to friends and family. I’m well aware that it’s impossible for my children to give us precious, beautiful, natural, smiles when the entire photo shoot has gone so downhill we are yelling at them by the end to “JUST SMILE and it will be over!!!” Or, “so help me, if you don’t smile I’m going to… not get you that toy I promised I would get you if you JUST SMILED!”
There have been so many times that I’ve wished I had top of the line, miniature cameras sitting right behind the retinas in my eyes. Times I wish I could simply blink my eyes and capture the image that I see before me and want to remember forever. Not just the still image, but all of it! The sound of her playful giggle and how squishy soft her little arms felt or how perfect everything seemed when she fit in my lap…this will help me remember.
That summer when he lost his first baby tooth and how proud he was to show off the “man tooth” that had replaced it. How he ended each day covered, head to toe, with scents of grass and dirt and little boy sweat that I could smell when he wrapped his arms around me ending yet another day of boyhood, summer, adventures. This will help me remember.
And the way he smiled when his arm was around his first “best bud ever” and for the man who always found time for him…especially when I really needed a break!!! This will help me remember.
And then, the one who made me “Momma”… whose eyes haven’t changed since she first called me that. The one that made me realize I’d never see another thing more precious or beautiful than the 3 children God gave me and how no one could ever convince any mother otherwise regarding her own. This will help me remember.
And this last one of me… I could jokingly say, will never let me forget that I was always having to turn around and go back for something I forgot, but I would regret telling you what this picture taught me, that I hope to always remember. I felt awkward posing alone but followed my directions to “walk a ways down, then turn and look back”. Simple enough I thought. When I turned around suddenly, I of course saw the camera’s eye pointed right at me, but just behind her, I saw several more eyes looking right at me; with mouths gently smiling as well. I had a sudden moment of feeling lost and separated, standing alone, by myself, without those now in front of me; who so often make me who I am and how I identify with myself. I didn’t like that sudden feeling of not knowing me like I had before without them. At that moment, I made a decision, not just to benefit me, but for them as well; I’d never again get so busy being “me” for them that I’d lose sight of and comfort in being “me” alone. I would nurtured and rekindled the woman I am outside of mom and wife or even daughter and sister and do my best to remember that, guilt is a thief that can steal your life from your hands, ultimately leaving you less of yourself to give to them. This will help me remember!
So thankful for Amanda Reed and others like her, who practice their talents and share them with us, capturing moments I wish I could by blinking my eyes!