Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Candid Shots

My friend Laura emailed me after school today. She was a parent assistant at the kids' school today, and she was in Ava'a classroom during her lunch. She had her camera with her, and she was snapping pictures of the Pre-K kids, when Ava beckoned her over and said "When you take a picture of someone when they're doing something, that's called a candid picture."

That Ava...she amazes me every day with her insight, her bright mind, and her servants heart. But when Laura emailed me to tell me about Ava teaching her a thing or two about candid shots (hee!), it made me think.

What are the candid pictures our kids, our spouses, our friends are getting of us every day?

I don't mean this literally, although if you have a professional photographer hanging out in your house just waiting to get that perfect portrait, I am jealous and want you to send them over when you're finished. I mean in every day life, in our days at home, at school, out and about, what are the candid shots getting stored in our loved one's memories?

For me, I hope they will have memories of all of us sprawled on the couch together like puppies, watching a movie, or laying on the trampoline looking at clouds. I hope they will remember me as a smiling Mama, one who will drop everything to play a game or do a puzzle. I hope my friends picture me as kind, that John thinks of me as loving.

Realistically, I know that this probably will not be the case...those are the 'keepers', the good shots taken from the larger pile. There are many other pictures, face down on the floor, of me looking upset or sad, spending time on the computer and brushing them off, or telling them "in a little while." The shot of me getting frustrated with Ava's reading instead of being patient...the time I told Jace that there was no time to play a game just because I knew he'd lose interest anyway. Times when I do nothing but complain to my friend, or times I don't take the time to listen to John. There are many moments where there is a clear choice and I don't always put them first. Those are the shredders, the candid shots I want to make sure no one remembers.

Sometimes it all comes down to that split second choice when we choose one thing over another. It seems like it doesn't matter, but to our kids or our husband or our spouse, that small thing they're looking for could have made their day. It is so easy for me to get stuck in my own head, my own selfishness, that I forget that until after feelings have already been hurt.

But I love my family...my husband and kids, my Mom, my friends who have become like family to me. I can't see my kids without falling in love with them all over again, every day. Our main goal in parenting these kids is to raise them up to be Godly people, and second to that, we want them to feel loved, to know that we've taken every second of parenting, even the hard parts (and oh, they're a coming), and counted it all joy. I want my mom and my friends to know what blessings they are to me. I want John to know that he is loved and respected.

I want to reflect those things in the candid moments in life, those split seconds in life that seem like nothing but can be the memory that stands out above the rest.

What candid shots do your loved ones have of you?


Anonymous said...

u r too fricken cute! I am a 30 yo mom of 3 boys (10, 5, and 5mo) and reading ur page the past couple of weeks has totally changed my life. Well, ur page and a few others, but urs is my fave. I started goin to church.. I even went to confession after not going for 2 years! I am now praying with my kids in the morning and before bed. I even started carryin my Rosary Beads in my pocket so they poke me now and again, and remind to pray once more. I have really taken life for granted.. and my kids' lives. And after readin stories of losses, I cried and cried and cried.. and then I kissed my kiddies and vowed to live each day as if it were the last. I will still put them in the corner for being fresh LOL but I will do it to teach them right from wrong and not because I am mad. I am deeply sorry for your loss and I hope u and ur family nothing but health and happiness for all the years to come. You are an inspiration and i totally love ur writing style!! oh, and i gotta tell ya. I saw ur pic of u goin to ur hubbys Christmas party and ur comment was sutten like "I did NOT take this pic because the vest made me feel hip" .. well my 30th bday was march 8th and my girlfriends took me dinner.. well, i didnt have anything to wear so i so went to the store and got me a lil black vest and rocked it!! lol i figured it worked for you! haha im a dork.. ok, im going now. ta ta

Anonymous said...

I'm on the same boat my friend. After being abandoned by so many friends that I believed were lifers and being disappointed outside my home by countless people. I started to realize just how much I've "brushed off" my own kids. I've started every morning now before I get out of bed, regardless of time or tardiness, to come out with a smile and a spoonful of patience and priority. I love my blogging world and sometimes I get caught up in other peoples lives that I've neglected my own (emotionally). So unfortunately, as of right now I'ms ure our candid shots are of those of me sitting in front of my computer screen with a constipated look of concentration clicking away with three beautiful boys waiting patiently for their turn in mommy land. I hope and pray that this candid shot will change at the end of the month.

Shanda said...

What an awesome post! I hope to have more of those "keeper" shots in all areas as well.

Anonymous said...

El, I am so proud of you--and so thankful for you. Sometimes as you grow older (yeah, like me) you review your life and search for your own significance. And sometimes you wonder--what is my purpose--or what was it--and did I miss it somewhere along the long, tired way. Not I. Watching you every day, it's clear. You are the reason I was born. I love you more than more. Mom

Brent, Missy, Aubrey, Eli, & Nathaniel Copes said...

What an awesome analogy. It brings tears to my eyes as I recall similar moments of putting my children off because I was too tired to play a game etc. I have several friends who cannot have children and many who have horrible husbands. Thanks for the reminder that we should thank God every day for our blessings and never miss a moment with them. By the way, I will send you a pic of my boys with their bracelets soon! If you want to check out our blog it is www.thecopesfamily.blogspot.com

Dorsey said...

Hi! I'm Doris, (50 ish),and all my daughters have left the nest and flew far away.... I love kids and work at a Day Care part time. I also do respite care for autistic kids. My grandchildren, live a plane trip away ( one is Ava )and blogging is a new outlet for me. We all take to much for granted. Life does not turn out like we had planned. I'm still trying to figure out where this path is taking me next...
My Ava's mom has miscarried 5 babies, so I haven't experienced your kind of loss as a Mom, but as a grandma waiting to see her angel grandbabies in heaven. This same daughter is an Audiologist, so we also share an interest in the world of the deaf. I've enjoyed reading your blog. Keep up the good work in educating people about the life of a hearing impaired child..you're doing an excellent job.

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