I'm pretty sure I've posted about this before but it was driven home for me again this week so I'm doing it again...
I decided on Monday to do a Mother's Day themed week with favorite pictures of C and me for my Facebook page. It was prompted by a Picture of the Day shot of the two of us that greets me each time I open that album to post another shot. It's a goofy shot, not surprising, and it not only makes me laugh each time I see it, it encapsulates what a good sport he is. The day I took it I told him basically come here, make a grrr face with me and I will post it and his response was to come there make a grrr face with me and let me post it. He's just that chill.
So then I started the process of which shots to use for the rest of the week. I turned a collection of Disney pics in to my banner and picked a few others. Tomorrow will be the leap from an around 14 year old C to a toddler. Not because I don't like any of the pictures in between those years but because there aren't a lot. There are a couple from Disney trips (one I used in the banner) and that's about it. It looks like he raised himself for most of his life.
I have pictures of him at the milestones. I have a few shots of him and Brent that I snuck because Brent was as camera shy as I was. But mostly it's just C. Posed for the picture that we proudly took of him. Enjoying our kid and our time with him but not wanting to be captured for posterity because of any number of reasons. Weight for me mostly. I hid. I moved. I cropped pictures to take me out. And now I have no record of me in those years. Just him. Thank goodness we at least have the pictures of him.
I realized right around the time he hit his early teens that I had edited myself out of his childhood and stopped it. Knowing that even if I was never going to be happy with my weight, or that patch in my 30s when my skin revolted, or the way my hair looked...okay, wait. That's ridiculous, my hair always looked great...but what ever reason I was giving for not being in those pictures they weren't good enough. That started the mandatory shots. I always take one of the three of us where ever we are. At an event, on a plane, in an airport, at a show, if we are doing something together I take a shot. This started before the flip cameras on phones so for a few years I would hold up my actual camera guess if it was lined up and take a shot. Look at the picture, then adjust and take it again. The final shot in those is usually gold because we are all laughing at how long it took to get a good shot. Not to mention the times kind strangers offered to take a picture and we had to explain that we were grateful but that this was kind of "our thing." I still do it with Brent and me because I didn't want to stop having pictures just because it's usually only the two of us now.
But there is still that dead zone. That time I cannot get back. Those moments that I wish I had. Where it was us, all of us, doing things. Being a family. Goofing off. Or going to concerts, or wiring his house for his school project, or...anything. Just the day to day stuff would be great. I don't have a lot of pictures of my time growing up. I was the last child so there wasn't the constant picture taking that my older siblings had. We didn't all carry cameras with us on a daily basis as we do now so there weren't the abundance of candid shots we all have now. So I don't have those pictures of my parents either. And I wish I did. And I would guess at some point in time C will wish he had some of us during that dead zone time as well.
Or maybe he will weave a story about the years where he was left alone to fend for himself...
But the moral of the story is GET IN THE SHOT! Take pictures of you with your kids. With your spouse. With your friends. With that gorgeous scenery. Roll your eyes at people who disparage your selfies, or make them get in the shot with you. But take those pictures. Be in them. You'll be glad to have them someday. Even if you are a giant dork with a kid who humors you. Maybe even especially then.