I admit it: I am rarely in a photo with my children.
It’s not because I shy away from the camera. Point one toward me, and I am likely to burst into an over-the-top scrunch-nosed, big open-mouthed smile. It’s not pretty, either. Then, all my chins – which seem to be increasing with my age – are showing. My freckles and scars are plain to see. My flock of crows etch the corners of my eyes. Additional curves adorn my waist where none should be. A flat and wide backside does injustice to jeans meant for more substance.
And yet I yearn to be caught.
To be preserved. To leave a visual impression – - something more than a fading memory of presence.
I’m not the only photographer here. I’m not the only one to record our legacy.
What about me?
I need to be part of the portrait – included, even if rarely, in the collection being built for my family. And so, I tote my tripod. I carry my frequently fickle remote control. I beg, plead, bribe my kids into staging photo shoots. And sometimes? They actually humor me.
Even more special? When Chi – or Rico, when he’s home for the weekend – volunteer to hold the camera and snap a few quick pictures. Unposed. Real. Me, enjoying the moments with my children. Enjoying the treasure trove of experiences that motherhood offers.
I must insist more often. Perhaps equip them with a camera, too. Become a fixture in the image. Exist within the frame of snap shots taken to hold onto moments.