I’ve realized something as I’ve pummeled headfirst through Maycember: the Kardashians have it so good. Actually, scratch that. The Kardashian mothers have it so good. While I sit at every Maycember event – every sporting event, every concert, every school picnic, every end-of-year party, every graduation, and every last “everything” that we squeeze into the 31 days that mark the end of the school year and the beginning of summer – I think about how I should be documenting it all. I should have an amazing Canon-Nikon-super-zoom camera (and remember to bring it). I should have an HD video camera recording every second. I should be in the front row clicking, zooming, and recording so that we don’t forget one single second of what this was like. Of what they were like.
Instead, I find myself either a) forgetting to take pictures; b) frantically taking blurry photos from the back row with my iPhone; or c) being resentful because I am somehow the one who landed the photographer job when all I really want to do is enjoy the moment; or d) & e) taking one great shot that may or may not end up properly loaded on my computer and (most likely not) into a photo album.
And, it’s this time of year that beats me up the most. My calendar is filled to the brim with events that require my attendance, but I can’t help but feel like a part of my excitement dies every time I feel the pressure to snap the “perfect photo.” I’ve been in this gig long enough to know that snapping that “perfect photo” isn’t the end of it. It’s actually just the beginning. That “perfect photo” needs to be uploaded, categorized, captioned, and properly stored for retrieval in 25 years when my kids ask what they did in 2016.
I want our boring little family to be documented like a Kardashian. You know, with a camera crew, paparazzi, and live tweeters at our disposable? I’m confident that no one else will want to see any of it, so I feel comfortable requesting all copies of film footage, including what’s cut and left on the editing floor, plus all copies of the magazine spreads, glossy autograph-worthy pictures, and unauthorized biographies to keep our family’s privacy (if that’s even possible for anyone!).
I want to sit in my seat at every one of my kids’ events and just take in the moment. I want to sit and breathe after I rushed to get them there. I want to see my kids’ expressions on the stage, on the diamond, with all of their friends, or at the podium through my own eyes. Not my iPhone’s eye. I don’t want to compete for front row or best light exposure. I want my kids to look into the crowd or the bleachers and see their mom smiling back at them. Not my camera.
But, I also know that in 25 years, I’ll want to look through a book that documents Maycember and every other month of our lives. I’ll want to curl up on my sofa as an empty nester and flip aimlessly through the chaos. I’ll want to show my grandkids what life was like for their parents.
I know. I realize I’m between a rock and a Chatbook. I can’t achieve this vision without putting my time in now, so that’s why I’m this close to posting ads on Moms in Charge for out-of-work paparazzi. I’m about 99% sure I’ll make more headway on finding the perfectly obnoxious photographer to take my place than I’ll make on getting all of my photos uploaded and into photobooks (while I miss living in the moment).
Actually, who am I kidding? Make that 100% sure.