One day. One day you will be bigger and you will want to know why. You will want to know why about many things, but one in particular. You will want to know why I still follow you around the streets of this city clutching my phone telling you to frolic, telling you to freeze, telling you to cheese. Why. Why do I do this? Why do I take so many pictures?
And I indulge. I imagine this moment as a big one, cinematic in its unfolding. I will sit you down on that white couch in that yellow room. The three of you will sit in the middle, long legs dangling, legs bruised from soccer and stumbling and life. Daddy will sit on one end of that couch and I will sit on the other. We will each face you, all three of you, and smile. Our smiles will match. They will be confident and strong parent smiles and you will maybe still believe that we know, that we know everything, or maybe just more than you. Or maybe you will be catching on. That we are wild with ignorance, and love.
Why. Why do I do it, why do we do it, why so many pictures of you? And I will hide behind that smile for a moment longer and pass them down, one by one, pieces of memory, bits of our braid, pictures of you. You will hold them in your good, smooth hands as I tell you, we tell you, stories of who you were when you were smaller, of the things you did, of the things you said. We will laugh and you will laugh.
Do you remember? I will ask. Do you remember how I always had that phone in my face, obscuring my eye? Do you remember how I told you to walk ahead and run and skip and hold hands? How I crouched down and climbed up, desperate to see, hungry for the perfect angle, frantic in my compulsion to capture? And you will squint and smile and look at each other and roll your eyes, your sweet blue eyes, and say maybe. Maybe you do remember. Together, you will notice things about the tiny people you were; that your hair was so light, that your eyes were so bright. That you once wore so much color, so much pattern, that there was always chocolate on your face. In unison, you will nod, heads bobbing slightly. You will admit it, that you were in fact cute. And I will nod. Daddy will nod. And we will say. You were, right?
For some reason, you will pause on one. One picture. In it, the youngest of you is missing and I will tell you that you were not yet in this world, our baby, that you were an idea, a dream, an almost. And I will say, That was my college reunion. Daddy took you for a safari adventure around campus and I slept in. And in that picture you peering over the Women's Table. And then I will chuckle and remember. Once upon a time, Mommy danced on that table and drank champagne with her friends in the middle of the night. You will hear this and you will look at me and your minds will whirl, and you will smile.
And suddenly the answer will come. The answer to why. And I will wait for your giggles to fade and for you to listen. And I will say it.
I take pictures of you because I don't know what else to do.
And this will strike you as cryptic and Mom-like maybe but you are sweet girls and you humor me and nod. You know I'm not finished. Not yet. I find myself in these moments, these moments with you, when I am so stuffed with something, so bursting, that I must do something. And so I reach for it. And I hold it up to my face, look through that little lens, and press. I do it to fill that space, that spinning space. I do it to see. I do it to remember.
And I have lost you now; your minds are elsewhere, on to the next thing. I know this, but I also know that one day, one day when you have creatures of your own, you will look back understand. And so. I let it go. And you let me go. You let me go to the little shelf where I have left it. And, in shaking hands, I grab it and hold it up. Snap. Crackle. Pop.
More pictures of you.
For other Five for Five musings on PICTURES, please click here to visit the lovely sisters at Momalom. Leave a comment here before 11pm EST for a chance to win Danielle LaPortes FIRE STARTER SESSIONS. Congrats to Marianna Wright for winning yesterdays copy!
Do you take a lot of pictures? Why or why not? Do you ever picture future moments, and conversations, with those you love?