I often get teased for always having my camera with me and always snapping pictures – sometimes of the same thing over and over again and sometimes at the completely boring, and often I end up snapping fuzzy, dark or overexposed life moments that get deleted before ever seeing my computer screen. I carry my camera nearly everywhere I go, and those same people who tease me for all the pictures I take are usually the ones disappointed when I show up somewhere without it. My mother doesn’t even use her camera anymore. She who makes fun of me for the endless snapping also gives me a hard time when I don’t bring it – and she’s the first to call me to a photo op when I’m with her.
I love to capture the moments of my family – the big things, the little things. I think about someday when my children are left with nothing more than photo albums (or blogs in my case) to peruse for glimpses of their childhood – who they were, who my husband and I are, what we loved and what we spent our days doing – I want them to have evidence of it all. From the firsts to the mundane.
This past weekend, on one of our last days of summer, my kids and I spread ourselves out on a picnic blanket, opened up containers of favorite foods and had ourselves a quick little afternoon picnic in the grass. We sat chattering about what we’d do after lunch – kick the soccer ball around, climb the persimmon tree, go back inside to the air conditioning. I sat on the blanket as my son ate his peanut butter sandwich and I pretended to bend over and take big bites from it. He giggled and teased and elbowed me out of the way and we carried on together making each other laugh.
My 7 year old daughter sat across the blanket from us, picked up my camera and took this. I thought little of it until we got home. I loaded the afternoon’s pictures of tree climbing and walking and exploring onto the computer. Then I found this – a moment otherwise forgotten but now forever frozen in time thanks to the camera being there. And now, after a summer of adventures and firsts, one of my favorite pictures from the past two months of summer is one from a quick little impromptu picnic on one of our last lazy days of summer. A moment that instead of being forgotten was captured as beautiful. That’s the thing about pictures – they capture what is and let us see later how beautiful something was while we were living it. And that is why I take my camera everywhere I go.