I did something kind of strange last week.
I asked my brother, a budding photographer, if he could spend the day at our house, taking candid shots of me and the boys, throughout the day.
Does that sound like a narcissistic thing to do? Well maybe, but wait until you see how utterly homely I look in all the pictures. A narcissist would surely have thrown on some makeup, or brushed their hair, or SOMETHING.
Nope, these pictures weren’t about that.
So how WAS this idea birthed, and what was it all about?
I read an article about six months ago. The article was written by a woman whose children were already grown, and had moved out of the house. In the article, the woman was bemusing the fact that, when she thought back over all the child-raising years, she could remember the really bad things that had occurred. She could remember the really great things. She remembered the milestones, but one thing she could not remember, and felt a deep sense of sadness over, is simply what a NORMAL day had looked like, with her little children, at home. “How strange and sad!”, she said, for something that had once been so normal and familiar…the very fabric of her life….to be mostly forgotten. “What did we do during the day? How did we stay busy? What was their favorite breakfast?” That made me really sad. My days at home with my boys aren’t too exciting, and often times, I want nothing more than for the day to just END, but gosh…I don’t ever want to FORGET these days, and all the millions of tiny moments that fill them up.
I want to remember kisses on the cheeks of sleepy eyed babies, in the still-dark kitchen, only moments after they woke up….
I want to remember that every single morning, those boys of mine ate waffles and eggs, and every single morning, just as much of those waffles and eggs were smushed on the floor and table, as was in their bellies…
I want to remember taking the golf cart to school in the early morning sun…
I want to remember the mess, the mischief, and the mundane…
I want to remember that sometimes, Mimi stopped by and brought Chick-fil-A, (and sanity)
I want to remember that dinner was a shit-storm…an actual shit-storm, Every. Single. Night. But gosh were they ever precious all sitting down and eating together…
I want to remember that Axel was a daddy’s-boy, through and through, that Nason was really cute, and that the best part of ALL of our days was when he would get home…..
So it was about that. It was about something else though, too. When I look around at the pictures on the walls of our home, what I see is: Posed. Staged. Forced smiles. Outfits picked out SOLELY for the picture. Nothing about those pictures reflects our real life. Conversely, when I get in bed at night, and replay the day in my mind, the images that fire at me one after the other are: the moment I yelled. The look of sadness on my boys face when I hurt his feelings accidentally. The moment I was staring at my phone, and missed my son making a basket. Picture, after picture, after picture floods my mind, leaving me full of guilt, and convinced that I am the worst mom ever. That’s not exactly an accurate representation of life either, as there surely were plenty of good moments mixed in on that same day…moments I was a GREAT mom.
So maybe tonight, I can get in bed, and when negative images start to flood my brain, I can look back through some of these pictures and remember that…
It’s true, there were some bad moments:
But for a lot of the day, I was a really GOOD mom, too….
One day these boys will be gone, and I will be sitting in a quiet, tidy, and peaceful home.
Lest I ever forget, there was once a time where I couldn’t POSSIBLY nibble on a snack without a greedy little hand wanting some too…
In case one day, when I’m at the beach or something, with my grown-man son, looking at his six pack abs (or possibly his beer belly)
Let me NEVER forget this baby belly, in all it’s utter glory….
My memories will eventually fade, and all kind of jumble together in one big blur.
May I never forget that, good or bad, every single day was precious, and every single day truly was an adventure
So thank you Josh (www.joshuamoneyphotography.com) for coming over, and capturing an entire day of just me and my boys, on a random Wednesday in April, when they were 7, 3, and 1.
This project is maybe one of my favorite things ever, because forever, I will be able to look back and remember all the small details that maybe don’t’ matter now, but will when I’m fighting to remember them.
Forever I will be able to look at these pictures and have neither a glamorized, nor demonized view of what our days were like.
Forever my boys will be able to look back and see a mama who loved them, and was there with them, throughout all the good and bad moments, of our oh-so-very normal days.