I wish I took more pictures. I was never a picture person. I hated being in them as a kid. Actually, I didn’t have many baby pictures either. I know now that it’s because my parents could afford little at the time (“We had to use used cloth diapers with you. And I only gave you one bottle a day!” laments my mom.) I remember flipping through pictures of my sister as a four-year-old, pigtailed, bell-bottomed, and smiling. And I’d march around the apartment saying “this is me!” while my sister protested and my mom shushed her.
I don’t have anything against pictures. I’m a big fan of blog posts with crisp, light-filled photos taken with an editorial eye. I tend to not like blogs that have zero pictures. (Hi, I’m a hypocrite.) And with three kids in tow and a gifted DSLR sighing of boredom in the closet, I have no excuse. Zero.
This may sound ridiculous, but I think the reason why I don’t whip out the camera every chance I get is because I don’t want to ruin the moment. Isn’t the point of pictures to capture that? Don’t I want to remember the kids just as they are right now, to gather mementos, create keepsakes? Absolutely. But for some reason, when I see a Kodak moment play itself out or I feel my heart fluttering at the sight of my kids’ eyelashes or toes, it feels almost too sacred to mess with. And I don’t want any intruders. I just want to be. So I furiously take mental notes of every detail (red polo shirt, living room, crinkled nose). and file it away. Pictures are automatically communal artifacts, and motherhood in the age of social media is such a public endeavor. I’ll brag about a lot of things, but some things, a lot of things, I want private, hidden, and cherished.
The kids will hate me. For being ridiculous. And selfish. I hope I become reasonable soon, for their sake. But until then I love.. love these secret moments with them, kept safe without any intruders.