Every once in a while, I see an article about putting the camera phone down and just living in the moment. The first time I read one of these wisdom-filled pieces, I tried really hard to get behind the sentiment. And then, after a few days, I was sad to check my phone and realize that there were no new photos to look at. No happy pictures to make me smile. And so, I threw the idea to the curb.
I'm not photo-obsessed. I spend plenty of time playing and laughing with my family without a phone or camera in my hand. With that being said, there are currently 2,390 pictures in my camera roll on my phone. From November 2013 through the end of May 2014. That's 341 pictures a month. 11 pictures a day. In my defense, at least one -hird of these pictures are throw-aways (probably more). I snap several in a row, not all of them are keepers. I just don't take the time to delete the outtakes.
The other day I came across some old photos and videos of my daughter from about 18 months ago and it hit me: I could barely remember capturing those memories. I closed my eyes and tried to remember the morning itself. What else did we do that day? It was gone. My brain is too full of to-do lists and work tasks to hold all the precious moments with my family. And so, I refuse to put my camera down.
I want to remember the sweetness of my daughter falling asleep holding her Bible. Or smiling up at her daddy while playing Ring Around the Rosie. I want visual proof of just how big of a smile my baby boy gives me when he looks my way. Most of these pictures capture seemingly insignificant moments. However, isn't that what life truly is? There are so many more "normal" days than extraordinary ones. These simple moments are the sum total of our life as a family.
The truth is, I don't take these photos just for me. They get sent to my family in Michigan and in Florida. They get sent to my in-laws who live down the street and my sister-in-law, who lives a few hours away. They get archived on an external hard drive for safe-keeping. And, they get emailed to my children. Every month I send messages that someday I will give them access to. And then they will see the photos and read the accounts of how happy we were in these simple moments.
And so, I will continue to take pictures every day.