It hit me tonight, as I was thumbing through a few local friends blogs who keep long-distance family up to date on their children, I am doing a terrible job at cataloging my daughter’s childhood, particularly through pictures!
I studied photography in college and aspired to start my own business once upon a time. Shortly after graduating from school I went to work for a local corporate portrait company. I would travel to preschools with about 500 pounds of equipment in tow and setup a temporary studio, rush though as many toddlers before lunch, pack it up, and do it all over again the next day. This job drained me physically, emotionally, and creatively! After 2 years I called it quits. It was a good year before I ever picked a camera back up again to photograph ANYTHING. I didn’t even snapshot family events. Then, when we found out my first born was on the way I knew it was time to dust off the lens. I had been daydreaming of owning a nice Nikon digital SLR since my college days and when I received some inheritance money within weeks of my due date, I decided the time had arrived to make the purchase. I hunted down a great deal on a Nikon D-70 and have had no regrets about the purchase. I have had many regrets though about my loss of knowledge. I suddenly feels that I have forgotten all I ever knew. I am not one to work in automatic mode but I find myself often leaning on those dials because I am not balancing my settings as I should. But. my frustration with my current inadequacies are beside the point. I am not making it a priority to capture my daughters life on “film” and tonight that is finally breaking my heart.
Now the real question, is it my laziness or could it be because I am keeping life so mundane and unadventursome that I feel there is nothing to capture? Obviously I do take her in for the occasional portriat (though there is NO reason I couldn’t do those myself) to capture the major milestones and seasons. I do feel that I spend way too much time running errands and not enough time allowing her to explore her world. If all she ever sees is her playpen in the mornings (while I get dressed and she watches a movie), her carseat, a shopping cart, a view from her ring-sling, and then a short stent where there is actually time to play in the house while I “get things done”..what kind of a life is that! She would get more out of daycare honestly if all I am going to do all day is run her around town and do nothing inclusive for her.
This post is starting to become something I didn’t expect… I started to write just to say that I feel I don’t take enough pictures of my daughter, but in writing this I believe I am learning much harder truths about my parenting that are very ugly and bring me much sadness. I need reformation! I need to teach, to show, to love, to get in the dirt, go new places that allow her to move and see and touch and explore this great world around her. Its time to start acting like the kind of MOM I always wanted to be and the kind of MOM she will one day want to emulate.
IT ALL STARTS NOW!