What I learned from taking pictures of my children


I have a slight obsession with taking pictures of my children and the home we live in.  Holidays like Easter only intensify the problem... um, er, I mean experience, with all the color-coordinated goodness and styled hair, beautifully laid tables with flowers fresh from the garden.  It's all too much to let pass without a picture (or 117 of them) to remember the day by.  So this mom calls incessantly for children to come have their pictures taken again... because the light is simply too perfect! Ahhhh... the natural light absolutely arrests me when it hits the awning causing everything to spill so evenly. "Wait!  Wait! Don't take off your church clothes, let me get one more shot of you boys together!" Miraculously they come again, as the aroma of honey-baked ham fills the house and ice cubes begin to melt, causing the glasses of lemonade to make that wonderful cling-clanging melody throughout the home.

If only a picture could capture the whole essence of family togetherness. The sound of laughter and the scent of jasmine as it mingles with orange blossoms on the springtime breeze - My mom in the kitchen washing dishes and my husband walking through the dry grass on the back hill - The youngest flashes a smile with chocolate caked around his face and I laugh.  He laughs back, though he has no idea why.  All of it. I want to capture all of it.


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Artistic moms who interpret life through lenses, paint brush, instruments or pen, are often tempted to rush past the living moments, to document the experience of having lived.  In so doing, of course, they miss some of the present richness of simply living life.  Tasting the ham rather than photographing it, touching the soft skin of their beloveds, rather than backing up to frame the picture just so.  Leaning into the laughter instead of running toward the computer to upload a fresh batch of images.


It's a constant pull for creative women who are loving their families, all the time inspired to write down words, pick up instruments, set up the easel, redecorate a room, refinish that bedside table. But the moments are ticking by, and our job is to savor with our hearts each tick-tock slow-moving one of them, because together the minutes are sprouting wings and taking to flight.


Yes, the days are long, but the years are short, and I don't just want pictures of my children when they are grown and gone, I want memories. Memories heavy laden with all five senses. It's hard to take it all in behind a heavy camera with an impressive zoom. Similarly, you may (or may not) have noticed that I'm barely writing one blog post a week around these parts.  I've found that this year I simply can't be the mother, wife, daughter, friend, homeschool parent I want to be if I do more than that... not if I want to live life.




 Choose Life.


Put down the camera phone, look up, and choose life.