Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Picture of Happy

This is one of my favorite pictures of my husband, Tim, and me.  My daughter Lucy took it when she was four years old.  She was sitting in one of those giant, fabulous Disney World strollers, looking up at us and she snapped this photo.  We were really happy that day.  She saw it.  She knew it.  She captured it.

Last week, Allison Tate wrote a great piece for the Huffington Post about pictures and how moms should stay in the picture.  Here's a little bit of what she wrote:

But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?

Someday, I want them to see me, documented, sitting right there beside them: me, the woman who gave birth to them, whom they can thank for their ample thighs and their pretty hair; me, the woman who nursed them all for the first years of their lives, enduring porn star-sized boobs and leaking through her shirts for months on end; me, who ran around gathering snacks to be the week's parent reader or planning the class Valentine's Day party; me, who cried when I dropped them off at preschool, breathed in the smell of their post-bath hair when I read them bedtime stories, and defied speeding laws when I had to rush them to the pediatric ER in the middle of the night for fill-in-the-blank (ear infections, croup, rotavirus).

At the end of the article, there was a challenge for moms to take pictures and to stay in the picture, with their kids. Almost 2,000 moms shared their photos on  And I bet a lot more took pictures but didn't post them. That article was moving, inspiring and hit a nerve in so many mothers.

I've never had a problem jumping in front of the camera or documenting myself (um, I have a blog and vlog).  But the article got me thinking about what pictures I want my kids to have.  What I want my kids to know. What part of our story I want them to always hold onto and share with their children.  The story of their parents.

Just like the picture of Tim and me in Disney World, I want my children to know we were happy and in love.  And I love to see how they see it.
Last Halloween silliness.
Getting ready for our roles in the Christmas Pageant.  Um, our kids might take away that we liked to dress up in costumes. Hmmmmm.
Sometimes the whole let your kid take your picture idea doesn't work out so great.

The few pictures I have of my parents together are treasures.  Some of the candid shots reveal their silliness with each other, their love.  I treasure those pictures because they tell the story of my parents before it turned ugly and full of hurt.  Before the divorce.  Before the bitterness.  Before my mother went crazy.

I'm not planning on going crazy(er) or getting divorced, but that doesn't mean the pictures of Tim and me won't be treasures to our children. I want our children to remember all the good parts of their story.  The silliness, the love.   Hell, if nothing else, the pictures will be great shots for our 50th wedding anniversary video/slide show.

So, my challenge for you is to take pictures of you and your beloved, your co-parent, your partner.  Leave that legacy of happy to your kids.

Since we're talking pictures, I feel it necessary to encourage you to be a part of instagram.  It's so fun.  
If you're already living it up over on instagram, follow me @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.

Click here to read the full Huffington Post article.

1 comment:

  1. so much yes. i can't possibly fit it into one comment. big love to you!