Get In The Picture

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day, and Facebook was flooded with pictures of people with their moms.

My friends had some really great pictures of both themselves with their mothers as well as with their children.

And it occurred to me as I was looking at all these pictures that I have very few pictures of myself with the kids, both as a group and individually.

Part of this is because we moms tend to be the ones documenting things and are on the other side of the camera.

But for me, I think a bigger part of it is that I don’t want to look like shit in pictures.

I’m older than I used to be, I’m heavier than I used to be, I’m wrinklier than I used to be, and there are less and less flattering angles these days.

But my kids won’t care about any of that stuff in ten or twenty or fifty years.

They won’t be bummed about how thin or fresh faced I look.

But they’ll be bummed if they are looking for a picture of the two of us when they were kids and they can’t find any.

So I was thinking about this, and I was thinking about a friend of mine who is a photographer, and last year she did a photo project where she took a picture of a moment with one of her kids every day for a year. And at the end of the year, she had 365 pictures of her kids.

She wasn’t in most of the pictures (or maybe even any of them), but it got me thinking.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to take a picture a day.

And I don’t want to feel pressured to take a picture a day.

But I definitely want to have more pictures of myself with the kids than I do now (which isn’t really that grand of a goal because I hardly have any as it is).

So I’m done worrying about angles and how fat or old I look.

Instead, I’m focusing on giving my kids some memories to look back on.

Like this one:

That was actually taken on Mother’s Day night. Number 6 had a loose tooth that he wouldn’t let anyone pull out. It had turned almost sideways.

He’s the kind of kid who won’t let you touch the damn tooth at all. No matter how loose it is.

But it was so bad that I couldn’t take it anymore.

So when he was in the bathtub, I snuck my hand into his mouth real quick when he wasn’t expecting it and flicked that little f *cker right into the water.

He cried because he couldn’t find the tooth. But then he found it under his butt, and he thought that was funny, and we all had a good laugh.

It was a moment for all of us because Number 6 had been looking like a jack-0-lantern for a long time and we all just wanted to pull that damn tooth out.

Then today I got this picture:

Number 7 had her kindergarten music concert.

It’s the last kindergarten concert I’m gonna watch. Number 7 was hilariously loud.  I’m so glad I got this picture! And it’s not a big deal, but it’s a picture I wouldn’t have taken a week ago.

Another milestone documented.

I’ll be honest. I’m having a hard time not focusing on all my imperfections in every picture I take.

But every time my brain goes there, I give myself a reminder about what it really is I should really be focusing on.

It’s not the wrinkles and the pounds and the angles.

It’s the memories in the pictures, and the memories I’m preserving for my kids.

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5 replies
  1. Heather Bradley
    Heather Bradley says:

    Oh Susie, thanks so much for this! I just got finished planning my grandmother’s funeral and one of the things we did was dig through her HUGE tub of pictures to create a slideshow and it was not easy to find pictures of her with anyone because she was someone who HATED having her picture taken. This post of yours reminded me of that, and I’m going to make sure that I’m in pictures more!

    Reply
  2. just me
    just me says:

    I try to get one of me with my daughter… and nieces and nephews even… any time we have a get together. I always say “You know, so it’s like I’m really here!” We just did a selfie – sweat, ponytail, sunglasses, and all – at her field day this morning! I like to think she’ll enjoy them someday.

    And don’t be silly ….you are gorgeous!

    Reply
  3. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I’ve been preaching this to friends for years now, because I was that person. The great thing is, as you get older and look back at those pictures, you will realize that you looked pretty damn cute, and you will be so glad you were in the picture.

    Reply

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