camera shy

Oh!  So much to catch up on.  I feel like I’ve been gone forever.  I’ve missed you all!

Well, we’ll start with something today, though there are many thoughts swirling around in reflection of having Daddy home for two weeks over the holidays.  Selecting the right words and photos from that trip will come.  Today, at least, was wonderful.

Though the snow was flying, our day was sunshine.  For months we’ve played musical illness here in the family, and has anyone else noticed this year’s bugs seem to linger far longer than usual?  It feels like it’s been months since I’ve had a clear-headed purpose-driven joy-filled day just because the sun came up.   I forgot how great that feels!

Today I did do something different though.  I started my day with a list of seven goals to accomplish.

Nothing on the list was earth shattering…things like eat breakfast together (rather than dancing like gypsies around their oatmeal while I make my shake), spend 1+ hour outside, have a green smoothie for breakfast, giant salad for lunch and make carob freezer balls, make sweet potato soup for dinner (even if I will be the only one eating it), make play-dough bread with the boys, make a computer to-do list, stick to it, then GET OFF (since, you know, checking one.more.time. can eat up more time than you think).  Mom has been working the 100 Day Challenge and I credit her with the encouragement to get back out of the sick fog we’ve been in and reclaim our day.  Sometimes you get out of the groove and it takes some help rediscovering it.

Amidst the pleasure of poking sticky play-dough bread, the cooperation required of two boys and one slide in the house, and a mid-day bath to try out the new flat-bottomed milk carton boat, I noticed Little Boy retreating from the camera ever so slightly.  By the time we were out in the snow, my need to capture snowflakes on eyelashes overcame me and I ran to get the camera.  This seemed to be the last straw of irritation at the candid snapshots for our otherwise wonderful day.

Shortly after I returned with the camera, a cool distance crept in and irritation oozed out of the little hood.  It was as though he felt like his fun, interactive partner in catching snowflakes had been traded in for the soulless paparazzi, out to only get the perfect shot.

I get that too.  Like cell phone etiquette, sometimes the moment is stolen by the technology.  How quickly spontaneity is snatched when the joy of having a fun audience disappears the second you look over to laugh together and realize their focus has lasered in on a little box and you’re now laughing with a lens.  Right at the peak of connection we turn to the camera in the hopes we can capture our joy forever.  Something is definitely lost on the other end.

So later, we had a chat.  I asked him why he thought I was taking the pictures.  He didn’t know and became sullen again.

In a quiet voice, I explained why I take pictures.  I told him that I try and capture the sparkle I see in his eyes and the moments that fill me up with love…so I can remember.  I told him that someday he’ll be all grown up with a family of his own and living in his own house, and I’ll be an old lady remembering the time I went out with my boys in the snow and we caught snowflakes on our tongues.    I take pictures so that someday, when he’s all grown up, I can look through them and be filled up all over again with love for my sweet boys, and be instantly taken back to the moment that filled my heart up.  Every time I see them I will be reminded of how special he is to me and how much fun we had.

He thought about this for a while and the little black cloud started to dissipate.  Tonight, during our story of the day, the reason why pictures of him are so special to me was the highlight he needed to process.

He also gave me permission to take pictures of him, knowing how much they’ll mean to me someday.

And oh, how they will.


6 responses to “camera shy

  1. The pictures are spectacular! The first one of Rocky – with that sad eye look — grabbed my attention. Then the fabulous pictures of Austin knocked my socks off. I can’t wait to add them to my photos! Great post, Bee. You think you’ll never forget, but then when you see the pictures years later, you realize that that moment HAD become a very hazy, if not forgotten, memory.

  2. I love this post! Gweeg you’re really gifted 🙂

  3. Great post, I’ve been missing you all!

  4. Magic! The last two pictures tell the story. From sullen, distant, annoyed, transformed into thrilled to be the subject of your attention.

    It’s very difficult to process feelings. Helping him to connect with feelings must be a stabilizing force. Talking through the icky helps turn feelings into constructive rationale. Oh that we all could make dark clouds disappear!

    Nice post Ginger. Glad you are back with the rest of us.

  5. Wow, Ginger. You are really an incredible writer. Memorizing to read.

  6. Ginger:

    There is something to be said about the importance of allowing your children to have their own space. Yes, they are your children, but they’re also individuals who will have incredible lives of their own. They will have experiences that you cannot share, hard as you try.

    I had a friend back in Buffalo that sent her son off to kindergarten on the bus, then got in her car and followed the bus to school; she then snuck around the whole morning, peeking into each room her son occupied. All I could think was how sad that was. After all, her son’s life was now his own, and she was usurping his ability to have his own life, to make decisions for himself, to have his own experiences, and whether he decided to share that with his parents was now his decision.

    My own kids have had such rich lives; they have learned so many things about their own chosen interests. I want them to feel free to talk to me about their chosen fields, and trying to be the governing person in their lives just doesn’t encourage that at all.

    Be there for your kids, but don’t be a “helicopter mom”, who comes to her kids’ defense whenever they have a problem. People learn from their mistakes. Let them make them (and as boys, they will!). Just be there to help them learn from them and move on. I’ve always been a strong believer that the reason we improve is because we screw up once in a while. It’s like training your muscles — you don’t gain strength unless there’s resistence to begin with.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working!

    Aunt Joan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s