“There are moments that I know I will long for even as I live them.” -Judith Katzir
I recently came across this quote and I have to say, this is something I can completely relate to—I feel it in the depths of my soul. As a parent, I think this resonates with me even more—every snuggle, family dinner, game played, story read—I realize just how amazing life is and how much I will cherish these small, fleeting moments for as long as I live. I also know when I think back to them, my heart will ache a little because my babies will be a little bit older and that particular season of my life will be over.
Time flies and our lives change, there is no way around it. No matter how much we try and slow things down, life seems to go faster. I know personally I try to desperately remember all the new things my kids are doing each and every day—whether it be a new skill learned, a funny thing they said, etc.—because I know tomorrow they will be a slightly different person than they are today.
Recently, I was re-watching the Jim and Pam wedding episode of The Office (the ones before Steve Carell left, you know, back when it was good). In this episode, Pam brought up the idea of taking “mental pictures” throughout the wedding day to help try to remember the special moments happening throughout the weekend. It was her way of trying not to forget the little things.
I think as parents, we naturally do this. I can already tell you my list of mental pictures: the first time I locked eyes with each of my children, watching my husband develop into an amazing father, my daughter becoming a big sister, the way my son stroke’s my face when he’s nursing or drinking a bottle, wrist rolls and chubby baby thighs, watching the “moon” before bed, even our messy, chaotic house … I could go on and on.
However, there’s one problem with mental pictures: they only exist in our minds. I don’t want memories to just live in my head because like it or not, memories fade over time. Things that were once clear in our heads become fuzzy and details are forgotten. This is why photographing your every day is so important.
Even now, when I look at pictures of my childhood, the memories instantly come flooding back. Looking at a picture, I can instantly recall a memory. I can remember almost everything from that particular moment—the conversations had, how I felt, even the smells. I want to give this gift to my children—I want them to look at a picture from their past and have the memories come flooding back. I want them to remember how they felt when they watched The Lorax or Elmo for the hundredth time, the excitement they felt watching a light parade at Christmas time, the love (maybe even the inside jokes) they had with family members who won’t be with us in the future. I want them to have a tangible piece of their history.
As much as I try to live in the now, I also do what I can to document what our lives are like currently. My life has drastically changed since my son was born and that was only 8 months ago—going from one to two children was definitely a life changer. Even within the last 4 months, our family dynamic has changed … we have a crawler on our hands, so there is definitely no more downtime and life is just a little more hectic (and fun).
Remember, every day that passes is gone forever, but every photo taken allows us to preserve our moments so we can relive them in the future. You will never regret a photo you took, only the one you wish you had.