One of my favorite things to do is take pictures. I seem to always have the camera in my hand. Even when we leave the house I take it with me "just in case" I see something that I need to take a photo of. Pictures to me are treasure's; moments frozen in time. Pieces of our lives captured to bring us a smile, or sometimes even tears.
I rarely am in photo's since the camera is always in my hand. There are a few times I will hand it over to my partner and those pictures tend to be blurry or completely off centered. They are not in any way taken with the slight amount of an artistic eye. I am fortunate to have a wonderful friend and photographer that has taken pictures of my family over the years and given me amazing treasures.
We just got back from vacation in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I took a ridiculous amount of photo's as I tend to do on these trips. I want to catch all the "firsts". I want to freeze all those smiles and laughter. I love when I can sit back and watch them and seize that moment when they are not aware I am gawking at them. Then there are those photo's where you try to get the kids to both smile at the same time. Begging, pleading for "just one" good photo. What are we thinking?! Bless photographers patience because after about snapping ten photo's I finally say screw it and hope I got one where they both are remotely looking at the camera. Maybe just maybe one of those pictures they will be smiling and tongues won't be sticking out. Maybe. But highly unlikely.
As much as I love taking pictures I know I need to try to put the camera down. This is hard for me. What if I miss something really great?! The reality is holding that camera in my hand all the time doesn't allow me to be a part of the moment. In fact I am missing something great. I am missing being a part of that memory. I can still freeze that moment in my mind. My heart can feel joy by watching my children smile and being the one to smile back at them. No lens in front of my face, just me.
One of my favorite moments from our trip was when I did decided to leave my camera behind. I hesitated in my mind before walking out the door. It had been storming all day and the rain had finally stopped. It was eight o'clock at night and I asked Chase if he wanted to go on an "adventure". One of the things I make sure we do is walk the beach together. Just him and I looking for "treasures". This night I knew the waves were angry and the ocean would be inviting me to take pictures. I wanted to capture Chase playing in those waves, dancing over the seaweed and shells. I left my camera at the room walking hand and hand with my son.
The next half hour we skipped on the beach. Our toes sinking in the wet sand. The salt water splashing at our feet and reaching up towards our knees. I held Chase's hand as a wave pulled him down soaking him from head to toe. We looked at one another and laughed. We kept playing games with the waves. The ocean was an amazing canvas of rumbling waves. It was beautiful, intense, and inviting; just as Chase's laughter was. His face was lit up and his eyes sparkled with glee. This moment was perfect. This moment was mine to hold on to. I have already tucked it away and kept it as one of my sacred treasures, right inside my soul.
I will always have my camera on me. I will continue to take an obscene amount of photo's. What I want to try my best to do is be more in the moment. To allow myself to put that camera down so I can create more of these memories with my children. I want them to hold onto these moments just as I do. There are things I remember as a young girl. I do not need photo's to remind me. I can only hope my children will grasp the same sweet moments I do. And the rest, I will stop in time with my camera.