Lately, my child goes to preschool with two bits of precious from home: a picture of our family and her beloved koala "Rose Petal." Rose Petal goes into the office and spends her preschool time in a basket with the other lovies. Our picture goes into Nia's cubby.
I'm not sure that she looks at it throughout the day, but it is there. Just in case. This reminder that we love her, that we are present -- even when we are apart.
That's a hard one for kids: this idea that we exist even when we can't be seen...
But maybe it is hard for adults, too. I look around me, and I don't see many pictures of myself and it begs the question: If a tree fell in the forest, and no one took a picture of it (and posted it on Facebook), did it really happen?
So often over the years, I'm not in the picture by personal choice. As the family photographer, I prefer to capture my bright-eyed little one. I love the actual act of shooting the picture. But that's only half the story. Honestly, I stay out of the picture because I wish I was thinner, more photogenic. More this, Less that... I love all my women friends on Facebook who post pictures of themselves, be it solo or with their significant others, but it just isn't me.
I'm not putting myself all over Facebook, but I'm putting myself around the house. Around the blog. I was here.
The annual tradition of taking & sharing a Christmas card photo is upon us once again. I always look forward to our Christmas photo shoot: Me with my camera and a few props, putting Nia up against beautiful backdrops, and letting her shine.
But this year, I'm coming out from behind the camera. This year, I'm staying in that picture, too.
I'm putting aside my pride and doing this for me. And I'm doing it for Nia.
If something should happen to me, I want there to be a photo record of my life, especially our life together. But also, while I'm here, I want to put aside silly notions that I'll be in photos when I've dropped a few more pounds, when I've closed the gap between my teeth, when I've grown more hair.
There is no then. There is only right now.
I am beautiful now. I'm part of your life now. I am here now.