Every year I make a calendar for my mom and Sir Monkeypants’ mom for Christmas. They like it because it’s something disposable, at a time when they are both trying not to accumulate any more stuff. It features photos of all of their grandchildren, and one thing I have learned from working on the calendars is that other families do not take thousands of pictures of their kids every year.
What DO they do with their time?
So now I spend a lot of our visits with the extended family trying to snap good shots of my nieces and nephews, and to try to set up group shots of all the grandkids, all with the calendars in mind.
There’s always a page or two devoted to each kid, and a page or two devoted to each family. For the page that will feature our family’s kids, what I want is a shot of all three of our kids.
Just one picture. All three in one spot at one time, smiling happily.
This year I’ve been working on my own Project 365, which means I have photos of the kids from just about every day for the past year (I’m at the 11 month mark now, whoo hoo!). Several months ago I started to really focus on getting pictures that had all three kids in it.
I have quite a few now. Ones where one kid is fake smiling, one smirking, one looking away.
Ones where two are happy and one is crying. Ones where two are sitting quietly while one jumps about blurrily in the background.
Ones where all three are giving me the NO MORE PICTURES, MOM eye roll.
I’ve taken their photo so often, the older two run away when they see the camera coming. The youngest is still content to pose but only if I will let her do the Super Fake Princess Grin.
I’ve thought of giving it over to a professional, but the chances of everyone being in a good mood at the same time seem to be less than zero.
I’ve heard others say that it’s important to take the camera away from your face now and then. To have a look around and experience things as they happen, not just fret about capturing them for the future.
But I have to say, looking back at the pictures and videos we’ve taken of the kids over the years – as many as there are, I wish there were dozens more. Hundreds more. It goes so fast, and it’s so easy to forget how little they were once, how far they have come. Looking at how they have changed makes me excited for how they will grow in the future.
So although I do try to remain present in the now, and I do try to peek out from behind the camera every now and again, I’ll keep on clicking. Searching for that one shot where everyone is posing nicely and smiling happily.
And if it never happens – at least the photos I do have capture the real us. And that’s more than worth putting in a calendar, I think.
This post is part of Brie’s Monday Moments series over at Capital Mom. This week’s theme was Photograph.