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#MOM stays in the picture

“Come take pictures with me, mommy” he yelled. I hesitated. It seemed logical.

We’re sporting mama bodies and we’re not as young as we used to be. We don’t always have time to blow dry our hair and apply our make up. The kids are so much cuter than we are, better to just take their pictures, we think.. Someday I want them to see me, documented, sitting right there beside them, me, the woman who gave birth to them.  I’m everywhere in their young lives, and yet i have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won’t be here- and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now- but I want them to have pictures of me.I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother. 

Mum's always end up behind the camera, whether they are the ones behind the lens or too busy looking after guests at special events or just not at ease in their new mommy bodies. Why do moms really need to make an effort to get in the picture?

Simply because way too much of a mama’s life goes undocumented and unseen. People, including my children, don’t see the way I make sure my kids’ favorite stuffed animals are on their beds at night. They don’t know how I walk the grocery store aisles looking for treats that will thrill them for a special day. They don’t know that I saved their side-snap, baby shirts from the hospital where they were born or their little hospital bracelets in keepsake boxes high on the top shelves of their closets. They don’t see me tossing and turning in bed wondering if I am doing an okay job as a mother, if they are okay in their schools, where we should take them for a vacation, what we should do for their birthdays. They don’t see any of that. When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don’t look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her — her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That’s the mother I remember.I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn’t care that she didn’t look like a model. She was my mama. So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.

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