Sure, I expect the kids to be cooperative whenever I pull out my camera or phone. I ask them to recreate something they were just doing. I don't care if they've just woken up and their hair is all cattywompus or they still have sleep boogers in the corners of their eyes.
"It's real life, guys. Get over it." I've said it hundreds of times. And they've pretty much gotten used to it. (Pretty much.)
But when the camera is taken out of my hands? Or someone else pulls out their phone to start shooting?
That's a different story.
I duck. I cover. I wail and protest. I'm pretty much a brat. I do everything I can to avoid having my picture taken. I just hate it.
Well, the honest truth is that I don't like to see myself in pictures. When I say that I hate it, I don't use the phrase lightly. But that psychological battle is long and deep and won't be solved with this blog post. So I'll move on.
My kids, however, don't share that aversion of seeing my photographic likeness. I'd go so far to say that my kids are pretty dang fond of me, and while they might not think about it now, I'd bet cash money that someday they'd really appreciate having photos of me, photos taken WITH me. Regardless of my weight or the status of my hairdo or whether or not creative cropping took place.
They don't care about that stuff. They just love ME.
I'm writing this in response to Aleida's Challenge that's going on at Studio Calico currently. It's a simple one, and you don't even have to be a scrapbooker to do it. The challenge is simply to get in front of your camera with your kids. Once a month.
Aleida was a cherished member at Studio Calico, who blogged about this very topic in August of 2008. In September of 2008, she was killed in a car accident.
The irony is there, and it's hard to think about, isn't it?
I, too, lost my mom in a car accident in April of 2006. And earlier that year, March maybe?, I created a layout with a picture of the two of us that was taken on the Christmas morning previous. And my journaling read, "I regret not having more pictures taken with my mom. I need to get better about that."
That was the last picture I took with my mom. I didn't get better about that.
While the irony is unpleasant and sad and makes me cry even now after having years to deal with her loss, it doesn't ever become less true. Life is short. It just is. Even if we live to the ripe old age of 105, it doesn't slow down for anyone. And we might not get the chance to do something we've been putting off until "tomorrow" or "sometime soon".
Now then. Whether or not you're inspired to start tackling your bucket list with gusto is up to you. But one of the easiest things you can do is just make sure you step out from behind your camera and get in front of it. I don't know if I'll be able to achieve the "once a month" terms of the challenge, but I'll give it my honest-to-goodness best. And I'll start now. These pics were all taken within the past month at various times. The fact that I have one of myself with each of my children is mind-blowing. And it must be a sign. :)
A few days before her accident, Aleida was quoted as saying,
"Have you ever seen a photograph of your own mother and thought to yourself how fat she looked? Or how she wasn't wearing make-up? Or wasn't dressed in a glamorous outfit?"
~Aleida Franklin (1967~2008).
There's that irony again. Sneaky little bugger.
Think about it, though.
I know I will be.
Thanks, Aleida, for reminding me that regret sucks. And for getting me off my butt to do something about it.
Now, if I were a completely changed person, I'd take a self-portrait right now as I'm sitting at my computer. But seeing as how I'm in my floral granny bathrobe and am wearing yesterday's mascara, I can most assuredly tell ya...it's not gonna happen.
Rome wasn't conquered in a day, people.