I used to take a lot of photographs of my kids when they were little. Believe me, I did. My kids were always such fascinating subjects, in my estimation, that almost anything they did was picture-worthy. Unlike my husband, I felt tub pictures were off-limits. No naked kiddos. My father snapped the occasional naked baby on a bearskin rug photo when I was growing up, but not I.
However, I did take pictures of the kids eating their meals (and wearing a shirt full or face full of applesauce, beets, prunes, etc.), playing in a playpen, smiling back at me in their cribs, toddling around in the snow, and all dressed up for special occasions like Easter and Christmas.
I'm so glad I grabbed the camera each time to document all these milestones and once in a lifetime moments. I've always said if my house was on fire and I could only grab one thing to take with me (besides people) it would be my big box of photographs. I can buy just about anything to replace that which is lost, but not pictures.
So recently, realizing there was a lack of images of my grown-up children, I gathered them together in the back yard and snapped a bunch of pictures. I must say this was some huge feat for rarely are the three of them at home at the same time these days.
And I got a little misty-eyed thinking of that. My kids have grown up so fast and I have been forgetting to document these changes as if somehow they will stay just the way they are, as if it doesn't matter now that they're no longer running round with pigtails or droopy diapers. Maybe I've been afraid to show these changes because that would force me to reckon with the changes in me.
Life is a scrapbook of memories, and photographs are the proof of time moving forward. We can't stop time. As Joni Mitchell said, "We can't return we can only look behind from where we came."