Monday, July 19, 2010

In pictures

When we got back from our vacation to South Dakota I went through my pictures and discovered that the only picture of me was one where I had happened to catch my reflection in a mirror.  I whined to Jesse "Someday the kids will look back at these pictures and wonder if I was even there on the vacation!"

I'm never in front of the camera.  I tell myself that's because I'm the one that's always taking the pictures but the truth is I sort of plan it that way.  If I'm behind the camera then I don't have to show up in front of it.  Point a camera at me and immediately every tiny insecurity I have about myself is magnified by 1000.  I have a goofy smile, my hair looks funny, this shirt isn't very flattering, I haven't lost the baby weight, I need to wax my eyebrows, I'm so pale, I have this weird bulge where my waist should be.  The list never ends.

On one of our last days in New York we were playing together on the beach.  I was standing in the waves holding one of the kids hands in each of mine.  Each time a wave would hit us the kids would shriek with laughter and cling to me even tighter.  The sun was warm, the water was cool and the three of us were having a wonderful time.  I thought to myself "I never want to forget this moment.  I never want the kids to forget it either."

I glanced back up to the beach where Jesse was sitting. Where the camera was.  The little voice started up.  "I didn't put on make-up this morning.  My hair looks stupid from being windblown.  I know my bra strap is hanging out.  My hips still look pretty post-partumy."

Then I looked down at my kids.  I looked at their happy little faces.  I felt the warm sun on my shoulders and the cool water splashing against my legs.  "Hey Jesse!" I yelled.  "Why don't you take some pictures of me and the kids in the water?"
Twenty, thirty, sixty years from now no one is going to care that my bra strap is hanging out.
Or that my hair and make-up were not done.
Or that my backside was so large that Elle began using it as protection against the waves.

When the kids look back on these pictures all that they're going to care about...
... is that one day their mom played in the ocean with them.


Stimey said...

This is beautiful and should be required reading for every one of us insecure about our appearance.

Also, you look beautiful and happy!

dancing_lemur said...

I am the same way--always behind the camera, and sometimes I have to make the same conscious decision to be in pictures myself. You know, lest my facebook picture remain the same year after year after year.

Swistle said...

YES, yes yes yes! Sometimes what I have to do is FORCE myself not to throw out the photos of me, because I know from experience that even FIVE years down the line I won't care about my double chin, I'll just be glad to have a picture of me with that much-younger-than-now child.

jenn said...

I love these pictures! The fun and love shines right through. I need to stop deleting the pictures of me, too, and remember that the kids won't care what I looked like when they look back on them.

Anonymous said...

Jen, you are absolutely right. They will remember having fun in the ocean with you. The rest doesn't really matter anyway. Everyone has those qualms about appearance, except maybe Elle!!



Cathy said...

Those pictures are awesome!

jerseygirl89 said...

I am hanging this on my wall. Or printing it in super tiny letters and attaching it to my camera.

And those are gorgeous pictures.