We live in a world where we are used to perfection. Social media makes up a big part of our world, and the longer I use it, the more I’m bombarded with perfect images that leave me with high expectations. I get it, we are naturally attracted to beauty, and we wouldn’t always be keen at looking at poorly lit photos, but after losing my daughter, there have been lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Just following Preslee’s death, I began organizing the pictures we had of Preslee. Over time, I noticed small details, for example, what pictures I usually took, which ones I was grateful for, or what pictures I really wish we had. It drastically changed how I looked through my camera lens.
Though most will probably never lose a child, one day all of our children will grow up and leave the nest. There’s no doubt that most of us will miss those everyday monotonous moments that made motherhood so challenging and beautiful all at the same time. Here are a few little tips that I hope you’ll appreciate years down the road.
Capture every day moments.
Most of my favorite pictures of Preslee are the ones where she isn’t posed, but rather showing things that happened every single day. They are the ones of her brushing her teeth, drinking a bottle, and even throwing a tantrum. Those are the pictures that bring back some of the sweetest memories and depict what life was really like with her.
Get in those pictures with your children!
I treasure every single picture I’m in with Preslee, and I have a feeling our kids will appreciate having their parents in them too. It’s easy to hide from the camera, especially if you still have baby weight left to lose, (Like I do.) but I encourage you to still jump in a picture or two. My guess is that our kids aren’t going to care about what we looked like, instead, they’ll be happier to see we were there making memories with them. So take an occasional selfie with your kids to document you that you exist. You don’t have to post them on social media, but save them, I think you’ll be glad you did.
Learn who avoids the camera.
When we went to make a slideshow of Preslee, I was devastated to learn we didn’t have one single picture of Preslee with one of our family members. It broke my heart, because Preslee spent a lot of time with her. So now you better believe that I make sure to grab candid photos of that person interacting with my kids, and I’ll often plop my kids down on her lap and ask for a picture.
Don’t always push away the mess, embrace it!
I can’t tell you how many times over the past few years I’ve pushed away the mess to get a good photo of my kids to make it Instagram worthy, or even retaken the picture after I moved the mess behind them. But please don’t be so quick to brush aside the toys surrounding your little ones. One day the pile of cars, trains, and Toy Story figures will bring back sweet memories. I now look at the pictures of Preslee and appreciate every little detail, the mess included.
Take more videos!
This is something I’m trying to do better at myself. Though I love a good picture, there’s something about watching how our kids moved, laughed, and interacted with one another. And don’t get me started on hearing their sweet little voices! We only have a handful of recordings of Preslee, but when I watch them they take my breath away. I can’t help but think we’ll all feel the same way when our kiddos are grown and have kids of their own.
So in-between your beautiful pictures, throw in a few that may not seem so perfect. Because I’m confident that one day those imperfect pictures, will become perfect in every way.