So, I sat down this evening to pound out a re-cap of the last week… two weeks? I think week. I stared blank faced at the white screen trying to remember what, exactly, we have been up to. It’s all been such a blur. The fact that it’s almost September of 2017 BLOWS MY MIND!! Anyway, I realized the only way I could remember what we did more than a day ago was to look at the pictures I’ve taken. It’s literally a journal of our adventures when I don’t have time to write (err… type) it all out. I do this on a regular basis, even when it’s not for a blog post. When I’m contemplating what we did over the past few days, I check my photos on my phone to refresh my memory. I’m not a professional. I don’t even own a fancy camera, it’s all iPhone goodness over here. Holding my phone camera in ready position sometimes makes me feel self-conscious and too much like a millennial, but with the busyness of my mind, it’s a blessing to be able to document my children’s early years. I so often hear older women reminding new mamas to soak it all in, take a moment to remember it all because it doesn’t last. Sometimes it’s hard to see the silver lining when you’re stuck in the fog and rain, but staring at the blank screen and realizing I couldn’t remember what all we had done just in the past week made me wonder how on earth I would remember things 20+ years from now. So without further delay, I made a list (Y’all knew that was coming, right) of why I will always be that lady with her camera:
- For the sake of memory. Not yours, not even totally theirs, but MINE. I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast this morning… or if I even did. Yes, this event (whatever that may be) is fun, exciting and is (supposed to be) memorable, but I’m not sure I will remember the look on my sons face when his toes first touched the sand, or my daughters’ joy when she nails sounding out a word. It’s interesting the things our brains choose for us to remember, but not interesting enough for me to trust it with things I want to remember.
- Reflection. I like to reflect on the things we’ve been doing in my quiet time. I look back at things that went “wrong” and consider whether they were actually “wrong, ” or I was being too controlling. Or, if I was angry, I like to consider if it was actually called for or if I was hangry and blowing things out of proportion. We’re a family full of forgiveness and apologies (as I’ve talked about before in Why We Always Say I’m Sorry) and reflection during my quiet time gives me a chance to make sure I make things right with a kid I messed up with the day before. It happens daily.
- Family memories. This one is for yours, theirs, and everyone else’s memory. This one is why I ask Herman to photograph me, and why I try to capture it all. Why I photograph Heman when he’s less than pleased, and keep the pictures that aren’t “perfect.” I want a printed memory of every moment of our lives. The happy, the sad, the ugly, and the beautiful. It’s all going to be a distant blur in the future (as in, like, tomorrow for me) and I want a way to keep it fresh.
The next time you’re tempted to judge the lady with a camera, or her smart phone pointed at the fun, think about her why. And the next time I have my camera pointed in your direction, just smile. It means I love you! 😉