Monday, January 11, 2010

children, this is your mother

Since our children have been born, we have taken more than 30,000 photographs. I think it's safe to say that Charlie and I have taken more pictures in the past five years, than the two of us have taken in our entire lives.

Because it's important to me that we capture and record as much of this time in life as we can, not a day passes that we don't take pictures. Already when I look back on my blog archives, I am amazed at how much our children have changed. In that sense, this blog is an incredible treasure for me. I can only imagine how much more precious it will become as our children grow older and I have a running chronicle of their lives in words and pictures, captured in the moment.

I was recently talking with someone who told me that both of her parents are deceased and it greatly troubles her that she has very few pictures of them. Once she realized just how scarce the photographs were of her mom and dad, she began making a concerted effort to have herself in front of the camera whenever she could. Despite the fact that she is camera shy because she is a few pounds overweight and doesn't feel particularly photogenic, she realized that her children know what she looks like and love her all the same. So why not record images for them?

As I was looking through my archives recently, I realized that there are very few pictures of me. Not for any reason except unless I set the camera up on a tripod, there is no one here to take a picture of me. It frequently happens that I'll take a photo of Charlie, but rarely does he pick up the camera and take pictures of me because he doesn't think about it the way I do.

It's cool though because our kids have reached an age where they really enjoy taking pictures, themselves. For instance, over the past week, the kids have almost completely assumed control of my point-and-shoot camera. Granted, they need a little practice on centering the subject in the frame, but they're getting there.

So to my kids ... this is me, your mom. These are pictures that you took of me, doing what it is that I do at this point in my life and for the most part, enjoying it thoroughly. I hope that as you grow older, you have fond memories that match these images - of this time.

A time when I laugh more than yell, take you on extraordinary adventures whether out in the real world or in a story book, frequently stop whatever it is that I'm doing to pick you up and give you a BIG hug, and sing totally random and made up songs throughout the day. And last but not least, spend an exorbitant amount of time cleaning after you because Good Lord you sure do make a mess.

Here I'm working from my "home office" in my pajama bottoms the first week of 2010. Kudos that at least the top half of me is dressed for the day.


Here I am negotiating with children that if I got dressed, they must also get dressed before we go out. I'm being met with resistance because the average age of children in my charge is 4.3 years and as a collective unit, they aren't the most rationale. Or cooperative.


Here I am bending over to pick up things off the floor.


Here we're heading off on an adventure with the sunroof open. I realized two blocks from the house that we forgot something and had to turn around and drive back. Thankfully it wasn't a child.


Here I am taking a walk in nature with Henry on my back.


Here I'm washing dishes, wiping down the counters, putting food away. I think I spend more time cleaning the kitchen on any given day, than I spend sleeping.


Sweeping. Mopping. Vacuuming. One of the three. It never ends.


Picking up more objects from the ground. There's always something down there that needs to come up. I'm convinced my children only hear a fraction of what I say because I'll interject various words in to a sentence just to see if they are listening.

"Hey guys, could you please come in here and pick up your crayons and make your bed and put away your pajamas? I'm really tired of cleaning up after you."
Pause. Oblivion. "I'm really excited to go to Legoland but first all of your crayons must come UP!"

What they hear, "Wank wank wank wank LEGOLAND wank wank wank WANK!"


Sitting down to read story upon story, or complete a craft with the kids while the baby climbs all over me and tries to shove his hand down my shirt because that's what he does whenever I sit still for more than 10 seconds. Here, I am making a pot holder. Which wound up becoming a blanket for William's baby panda bear.


This is the finished product. My edges didn't come out as well as I had hoped but thankfully William, nor baby panda bear, objected.


Maybe I should just tell everyone this is something that the kids made?

Then it actually looks kind of cute.


  1. Hilarious! Love that the kids took these pictures. Only kids would take such mundane pictures- but these are the ones you will love seeing in about 5 years. Real life.

  2. Very cute pot holder! I like that the kids are taking picture of mom! I also have that same problem having very limited supply of picture of me! I like my picture taken, but I am alsways behind the camera. They kids are not going to know what I look like! It makes me nervious to give my (2) 3 years old my camera, I am afraid they will break it!

  3. I'm always behind the camera too. I have to force my husband into taking pictures of me with the boys, because, like Charlie, he doesn't look at photography in the same light.

    I need to get over the whole, "ug, my hair looks awful, I need to lose baby weight, I have no makeup, blah, blah, blah". Excuses!

  4. i can SO relate to this! LOL!

  5. It's hard to be the family archivist and remember to include yourself in the archives. I figure that my blog is a good testimony to who I am as a mother. If I were to get hit by a bus today, my children would have an idea of who I am and what I valued. I try to get professional portraits done somewhat regularly so that we do have some photos together. My husband pointed out, though, that I forgot to say anything about myself and my accomplishments for the year in our annual Christmas letter.

  6. Sounds like a conversation I had with my husband at Christmas ... "Honey, it's great that we have picture memories of you doing each thing with the kids this Christmas - they are going to wonder if I was even there?!" ... But, like you, I'm ALWAYS behind the camera. And I don't like ASKING him to take the pics of me with the kids ... but I should. Thanks for the reminder :)

    And - I just bought my 5 yr old a cheap point and shoot because she too LOVES to take pics. And she took great ones of my butt and legs last week when we went bowling! ;)

  7. You are so right. Us Moms do need to be in front of the camera more! I love how brave you were in letting them capture the day! Good for you! Today you would find "Morning Mommy" still preparing dinner...I can relate to celebrating in not forgetting a child! What does it mean when your 11year old feels the need to take roll everytime we get in the car?
    Your pot holder brought back memories of 1st grade!

  8. Now that my mom has died, I am SO angry that she was behind the camera all the time... I just want ONE picture of us together that I love. But it was her or I behind the camera almost 100% of the time.

    Why is it so hard for men to get into photo taking?

  9. Wow..thank you for this reminder. I don't take pictures daily like you do but I do enjoy taking a lot of them. I need to hand my husband the camera more, too. Here's a little story for you. My MIL sent some photos that she'd taken while she was here visiting. The kinds of photos she takes are the ones I would "delete" sitting on the couch with red-eye, etc. So I'd thrown away one of her and me that had no value from a photog. standpoint and it also happened to be unflattering of me. Well wouldn't ya know it, the kids found it and asked why I threw it away. What do you say to that? I just said that I didn't like the photo and they said "well we do!" It was a good reminder that a picture of their mom (and grandma) is of such value to them....thanks Jen.-Karen

  10. These photos are so great. My kids have taken some photos of me that I'm tempted to delete (here I am looking intense while clippering someone's hair; here I am doing dishes, as seen from 3 feet off the ground; here is what my butt looks like from that same 3 feet off the ground) but then I think that this is the way I look to the kids so they're probably not going to be looking sentimentally for photos of me looking like Cindy Crawford.

    Your potholder is cute!