Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Capture it

I had a lot of my photographs of our family packed away during the showing and selling of our house. You are told to do this so anyone seeing your home can picture themselves in the house rather than you living there. I didn't realize how much sealing these photos away took the home out of our house. I didn't realize how much I missed these photographs until I was unpacking them. 

The children missed them too. They all grabbed their own baby albums and started looking at themselves and their siblings. Ooh and ahhing and remembering things. Or pretending to remember things. It was like looking at my babies I had lost long ago when they decided to grow up. (Frankly, I am pleased they are growing up. But what cute babies they were.)

As I wander my house, made more of a home by my husband's random hanging of framed photos wherever the last owner left a hook, I am also looking into other generations and tree limbs of family. Having this time away from the pictures, I see them with fresh eyes. I can see my mom in a Pre-K picture of Colleen. Normally we just see the Italian relatives in her. Nope. There is my mom.

And a baby shot of Brendan is clearly related to the newest of family members, my brother in law's son. 

Feelings come at me with memories of when I took these pictures. That fire place! Warm snuggly blanket. The amazing apple orchard. The excitement of who was in my belly. 


Those goddamn pants- the only ones that fit after having her; worn every damn day because my scale would not move. My hiding behind little toddler bodies so I wasn't huge in the shot...

Thank goodness I was in that shot. 
Thankfully I knew to pose for that picture so I could exist in these memories, even if I hated myself. Because now I love myself in the memories. 
In that frame. I was there.

This picture hangs on Evie's wall. 
"There I am with you, Evie. Yes, I am holding you snug."
And Evie says "Num." She actually sighs at the picture that I was about to bail from. (And she wears high heels on her hands. Classic.)

I am taking fewer photos now it seems sometimes. I want the camera out more as my parents age, and yet hesitate...will I love those pictures? Do I want to remember them at their oldest? Their weariest? 

I do. 

I know I do because that picture of me and Evie whispers I do. It is all a part of life which is truly a beautiful thing. 

Yes, fat pants, and bad skin, and 80s hair, and a crying child recovering for a picture.    

Aging parents, and a shot from behind while in a bathing suit- yes. Capture it. 

Capture red faced and braces and stolen hugs and falling asleep in cushion forts. 

Capture a far off look and a laugh with the double chin. 

The technology that enables us to delete the digital snapshots is almost a sin when it comes to capturing real moments. 

Capture the classic spaghetti photo, the terrified look while on a carnival ride, the before morning coffee- kid has your camera- took a picture of you- and you grumbled- shot.

Many of us are thinking about some children in our community who will be growing up without their mom. After a long fight, a time has come for whatever lies next for her.

Be present.
Kiss with morning breath.
Hug the asshole cat.
Let them spin on the office chair.
Take apart 2 double stuff oreos and build a quadruple stuff.
Take pictures.
Frame them.
Hang them.
Look at them.
Be in them.