After Dad died I realized how few photos I had of the two of us together. Or of him in general. He loved to take pictures once we entered the age of digital cameras, but growing up there just aren’t a lot of photos of us with Dad. I was sad when I made it through all of the boxes of photos to find so few of he and I together.
Before I found myself so very sad about the lack of photos of Dad – I used to HATE having my picture taken and always joked that my kids were going to think I was an absentee Mom considering I was always behind the camera.
But since he died? I’ve said, SCREW. IT. I’m having my picture taken.
I try now to makes sure that my picture is taken with someone pretty regularly. Even if it’s just an arm’s-length, crappy-resolution, front-facing iPhone picture…I still do it. When we’re going to movies, or out to eat…at the park or in our living room…if we’re just enjoying a moment together I try to find someone to capture it.
Now…I still hate almost all of the pictures. There’s a vein in my forehead that someone I used to live with made fun of constantly. There’s my red face and the wrinkles around my eyes. I often feel like I look 20lbs heavier than I am and find myself wondering why my teeth are so big. I don’t like the way I look in hardly any of them…but the girl in me without her Dad? She loves them for the sake of my children.
And if I’m having a good hair day? WATCH OUT. I’ll demand everyone take 42 pictures of me in every pose with every person within a 1-mile radius of where I’m standing. And our Thanksgiving trip to Louisiana? Gave me a lovely hair day that I demanded be documented.
I even let the kids use my expensive camera, at the risk of them destroying it with the slip of one finger. Wes wanted to take a picture of E and I, so E hopped in my lap like the little ones always do for pictures. Since he’s about 8 inches taller than me, this was freakin’ hysterical. We were laughing so hard I almost peed everywhere and my 4-year old was moments away from dropping my very expensive camera and lens on the ground.
But this is the picture he captured. And even if Wes had dropped the camera this picture alone would have been worth all of the money I spent on it. And suddenly I realize – I’m not making sure I’m photographed just for the kid’s anymore. No…I’m doing it for me too. Because E hates this picture and probably won’t ever cherish it, but me? I adore it. I want to put this picture on every wall in my home. This is me: Eye wrinkles, forehead vein, giant teeth…laughing my ass off with my first-born. And if there is any photo worth subjecting myself to the humiliation of being photographed regularly? It’s this one.