Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know all of your excuses…because I’ve used them all too. We hate the way we look in photos. We think we look too fat. We hate that double chin or the acne we shouldn’t still have as adults. Blah, blah, blah. So, we hide behind the camera. We’re the ones taking the pictures.
But what if I told you that it was long past time for the excuses to stop and for you to get in the damn photo? What if I told you the people you love so much, the ones who you’re always taking pictures of, wanted you in the picture too? What if, by stubbornly refusing to step in front of the camera, you’re depriving the people who love you of an opportunity to capture memories with you that they can keep?
This past weekend, Erica had her best friend, K, from when they were little girls over to spend the night. I call K my “Fourth Child” because for the years the girls were young, it seemed like she was at my house almost as much as she was at hers, and I grew very quickly to love her like she’s mine.
In the evening, Erica and K had tubes of lipstick, eyeliners, mascaras, etc and spent a bunch of time glamming up in the bathroom and taking selfies. I stopped in the doorway to enjoy the joy and the giggles of the two girls. Then K turned her phone toward me.
And I ducked back behind the door. I did it instinctively. I’d just gotten out of the shower and was already in my jams. My hair was still wet. I didn’t have any make-up on at all. Basically, I looked like %$#^&*, especially next to my two gorgeous teens, and I didn’t want to be in the damn photo.
K protested immediately. She complained that she didn’t have any pictures with me (which isn’t entirely true because Erica took one of us a year ago in the summer). But that simple protest touched something in me. This child loves me and wanted a picture of us together. That’s a gift…one that I was not appreciating.
So I stepped out from behind the door. I smiled for the damn photo. I inspected it on her screen, and cringed inwardly at all the flaws I saw in my own image. But guess what K did? She didn’t pay any attention to any of the things that drove me to duck behind the door to begin with. No, instead she posted it to Snapchat, with the caption, “I love my second mommy.” My heart melted, and I was really glad that I didn’t let my wet hair, pasty face, or jams keep us both from having that memory.
Ladies, get in the damn photos with your kids! They’ll want and cherish them.