Get in the picture!
Before Ava was born, I loved being in pictures. So much so that I actually photo bombed people every chance I got. I didn’t worry about how I looked. I wasn’t concerned with my “good side.” I had black and hot pink hair, and not a care in the world. I just jumped in and smiled.
Then I had a baby…and boy did things change. I was constantly worried about my tummy or my hips. I tried to stand behind someone in pictures to hide everything I didn’t like. This story is extra funny now because post baby #2 body would’ve loved to look like post baby #1 body, but I think that goes to prove my point. We might not ever love how we look. And sometimes it isn’t even about a baby body. Maybe it’s a change in our hair, or the lines in our faces that have recently appeared. Maybe it’s the gravitational pull of certain parts that seems stronger now than ever before. I had an ex tell me once that I had horse teeth and it took me years, I kid you not, YEARS to want to show my teeth in a photo again. Loving ourselves can be hard. But, from my heart to yours, GET IN THE PICTURE. Please. For your family. For yourself.
My mom died 15 years ago. I was 23; she was 50. I wish more than anything that I had more photos of her. Her alone. Her and my dad. Me in her arms. I don’t care how pretty she felt or how much weight she had gained or lost. I don’t care about the little patch of gray hair that had started to grow, ironically in the same spot that mine has started to grow as well. I cared that she was my mom and she loved me. She was always beautiful to me. As time goes on, no matter how hard I try, the memories start to fade. I can’t always imagine her smell anymore. I can’t really remember her voice. I can’t always see her face clearly in my head. More than anything, I wish I had more pictures to keep the memories alive.
As I have gotten older, and my body has changed, and my face has changed, I keep remembering my mom. I keep reminding myself that my family deserves pictures of me, no matter how I feel. I want large canvases of our family to hang on our walls and I want my kids to see them every day as a reminder of how loved they are. I want my children to be able to look back at pictures of us and know that Mom was, in fact, at the beach too. And most of all, when I am gone, I want my family to look back on pictures of us and remember how they felt on the special days or vacations, and how much I loved them with my whole heart every, single day.