Just before I was born, my dad invested in a state-of-the-art 35mm camera. He wanted to be able to document my first smile, my first ice cream cone, every Easter dress, and all the milestones in between.
And sure enough, there are scores of pictures of me from the time I came home from the hospital until I graduated high school.
Sort through those tomes of photographs, though, and there’s something quite noticeable missing…pictures of me with my parents.
What I wouldn’t give to see pictures of my mom making cookies with me in the kitchen, or of my dad and me erecting a tent in the front yard.
Fast forward about 30 years, and I, too, invested in a state-of-the-art camera before the girls were born, also set on documenting every hair on my precious babies' heads.
What I’m trying to do differently, though, is remind myself -- and my hubby -- that it’s equally important to capture some pictures of us with the girls.
It’s not as hard to think about turning on the camera when we’re all dolled up to go somewhere, or when we’re having a true "Kodak moment" – like baking cookies together. But I try to think about turning it on when nothing special is happening, too.
Frankly, when “nothing special is happening”, I often look less than picture-perfect. I may have on my crazy sock monkey pants, my hair may not be looking its best, and I might not even have on makeup (theoretically speaking, of course…). But I try to remind myself that my girls will likely appreciate that “slice of life” one day.
They’ll enjoy seeing us piled up together, reading books, as we do a hundred times a day…they’ll laugh thinking about the picnics we staged for their puppy doggies in front of the fireplace.
They’ll enjoy being reminded of building impossibly high towers with Daddy…and they’ll smile nostalgically as they see pictures of him cuddling their baby dolls.
I’m quite sure they’ll appreciate seeing all those things, even if Mommy’s hair looks a little ratty and Daddy appears not to have shaven in a few days.
So even when you don’t feel like subjecting yourself to the flashbulb, step aside occasionally and hand over that camera for someone else to take a few shots. Your children will thank you for it one day.