Getting Mom in the PictureSunday, October 14, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, Allison Tate published an article in the Huffington Post entitled, "The Mom Stays in the Picture." After having read it, I realized why the article kept showing up in my Twitter stream. It is a sobering reality that many moms feel the same as Allison who writes, "I avoid photographic evidence of my existence these days. To be honest, I avoid even mirrors. When I see myself in pictures, it makes me wince. I know I am far from alone; I know that many of my friends also avoid the camera." And while my friends may not exactly avoid the camera, many of them do feel reluctant to leave the comfort of being behind the camera in exchange for a position in front of it. The end result? A family scrapbook full of adorable snapshots of the kids but very few, if any, memories of mom for her children to look back upon.
On Thanksgiving, our family enjoyed a turkey dinner at my parents' place. And it was wonderful. We ate. We played. We took pictures of the kids. Yes, just the kids. How could we resist? It never once occurred to me to set the timer on my camera and take one big group shot. The thought of missing out on capturing a special memory left me feeling sad. You see, on that very day, I received a phone call from a friend who was near tears. Her dear friend and colleague, who was very recently diagnosed with lymphoma of the brain, succumbed to the disease, leaving behind her husband and eight-year-old daughter. It all happened so quickly, it seemed. This lovely, vibrant mother who, when I last saw her this past summer, still had a smile on her face despite suffering what she then believed was vertigo. My heart still aches for her little girl.
Tragedies such as these serve as a melancholic reminder that we should live life to the fullest. Celebrate it. Capture it in all its beauty. There is no way of knowing what the future holds but we will always have memories of the past. This is why I stand behind Allison when she says that moms really need to make an effort to "get in the picture" and to bare ourselves as the beautiful mothers we may have a hard time recognizing in the mirror.
Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother. ~ Allison Tate
This week, I made it a mission to get mom in the picture with a little help from Best Buy. These photos were taken with a Canon ELPH 10.1MP digital camera which is small enough to fit in my purse or coat pocket. Along with the camera, Best Buy kindly sent a ProLine 12" digital photo frame so that I may proudly display these pictures in virtually any room in the house. Why I never bought one before sure beats me. I rarely make the time to develop digital photos and, much to my chagrin, haven't developed any this year. Life as a working mother of two is challenging at best and I will never perfect it. But, inspired by Allison Tate's words, I can at least documenting myself trying.