To the people who want to remember

December 7, 2015

This blog post is for anyone who has a baby book with their child’s birth weight and height marked clearly in ink. It’s for the moms who grab their phone to snap pictures of their toddler going down the slide for the first time. It’s for the parents who go to Christmas concerts and dance recitals and playgroups. This blog post is for anyone who looks back at old photos of their children and wonders where the time went. I’ll tell you why.

I am one of those people too.

We all want to remember moments, it’s human nature. We want to hold on to things as they happen because we all know how fast life changes. Our kids grow so quickly, sometimes we don’t even see it until we look back. That’s why we take photos, to hold on. And we don’t realize that sometimes the photos we take of little, seemingly insignificant moments are really stepping stones to big things.

My oldest daughter had trouble with her speech, and in turn, she was shy and quiet. She didn’t like new experiences and would cling to my leg and cry to leave wherever we happened to be. She had trouble communicating and would get frustrated if we didn’t understand her.

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So we put her in pre-kindergarten and slowly she started to bloom, to come out of her shell. She made friends and started talking more and more. Her personality started to shine through, and we no longer focused on her speech, but on the intelligent, silly, creative girl she was.

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When I look at her now, I can’t believe she is the same girl she was just two short years ago. They grow so much in such a short time, it’s like you blink and they go from being a toddler to pre-schooler to a kindergartener. Today, my big girl doesn’t stop talking. She is full of questions and stories. She tells me how to do things, and she wants to do everything by herself.

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The scary thing is that I can’t remember what is was like before. I see her at dance class listening intently to her teacher, and I forget that a few short months ago she wouldn’t let go of my arm in public. Since joining dance, she has learned focus, poise and discipline. I pick her up from school, excited and eager to tell me all about her day and I forget that there was a time when she couldn’t tell me what she did in school.

Photos help me remember.

And they will continue to do that, as long as I live. I will always have these photos to remind me of all the little things I would otherwise forget. Because a few months from now she won’t be the same kid she is now. But thankfully I am able to capture who she is. I can pick up my camera and freeze this moment forever, my ballerina in her favourite leotard and first ballet slippers. The face she makes when she’s concentrating hard. The way she tried to write the number 2, and it looked like an upside-down 3. How she takes care of her little sister. The freckles on her nose.

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So to all of you who want to remember I want to say, take pictures. With your phone, your iPad, whatever is close by. Don’t let the moment pass and think it’s too much work or energy. Any photo is better than no photo at all, even if it’s a bit blurry and overexposed. If you can see that space where your child’s first tooth fell out, that’s all that matters.

And, have photos taken by someone else. Moms especially, get in the picture! I mean it. Your kids want to know that you were there too. They want to remember you as you were. Hire someone to spend the day with you or just a couple of hours. Do your usual thing and let me take photos for you. I love looking for real moments as you play together, cuddle or just hang out on the couch. That’s the true meaning of a lifestyle session, to capture your family just LIVING.

We are so lucky to live in a world where we are able to freeze time, and years later look back at those frozen moments.

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