Missing a Moment :: Finding More Life
Last night I walked into Avery’s room to tuck her into bed and found her propped up against her pillows reading a book…. to Comet. awww…
[gasp] “Mommy! I want to read you this book!” Oh Lord, I thought, I just want to go sit in my chair. Alone. Quiet.
“Okay! I would LOVE that babe!” was the right answer and the one I gave.
And so she began Dr. Seuss’ Hop On Pop Book. She loved reading it and I was completely captivated by her happiness. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and snapped a quick picture. Somehow my phone, dropped no less than 50 times, just doesn’t seem to take pictures as nicely as it used to.
I was walking a fine line…living in and soaking up this very moment with her. And wanting to capture it forever in a share-able format.
“I’ll be right back! I’m gonna go get my good camera!” I promised as I raced downstairs and swapped out the lenses. I ran back up and tried to drop back in to where I was emotionally with her just 90 seconds before.
I haven’t picked up my camera more than, say, five times this summer. It’s usually found as an appendage on me, and yet, this summer has been quiet. Mostly undocumented. Just as children gravitate toward a special blanket or cuddly animal, I think the camera has become my comfort item of choice. One that is easy for me to hide behind and observe from. My position of choice in any environment.
Avery continued reading her book and found it absolutely hilarious. So much so that she threw her body back and put her hand to her head after reading a specific portion. I thought my heart would explode right then. I was beaming watching her happiness and I was actually capturing it in the lens too.
My phone rang as she ended the book. It was Brian, who has been away this week. “What are you up to?” he asked. I walked out of the room.
“Ohhhmygosh” I whispered, “I was in the midst of the sweetest moment with Avery and I ran & got the camera and … I just… I love the picture I got! I captured the moment and…” I started to cry.
I can’t remember feeling simultaneously so excited and so sad. It was a perfect storm of emotion as I told him about the moments just prior, packaged with the reality of my camera left cold on the desk for the past couple months.
“What have I missed?” I asked him.
I suppose what I may have missed through the lens of a camera, I’ve found in experience and conversation and observation. And perhaps I needed that just as much. It’s a risk.
I am, however, freshly reminded today of the power that lies in the simple click of a camera. And even better than that, the reward of not crashing in my chair to have some “me time” a moment too soon.
Perhaps this summer will be remembered by me as the one when I stepped out from behind the camera and learned to live in the moment a little more. To just go and sit and hold my daughters hand instead of take a photo of her there alone. To study her face as she laughs and memorize the sound so that no matter what technology may ever fail me, my memory, I pray, will not.
I’m thankful tonight that I have a summer’s worth of these moments stored up.
And a couple photos too.