Because sometimes "real life" is so much more vivid when I step out from behind the lens. (And, if I'm not careful, I'm going to drive my family nuts with all my picture-taking.)
So I’ve been working on taking pictures in my mind.
Like that day a couple weeks ago when I asked Grace to get going on bathing herself and her little sisters when we came up from the beach. I walked into the bathroom to see those three girls lined up in the tub and the light from a nearby window was hitting them at just the perfect angle. Their little heads were lit up like they had halos glowing around them. Grace and Claire were smiling while rubbing in their shampoo and Lucy’s head was cocked over, leaning on the edge of the tub, hair still dry and tousled from the wind and the sand at the beach. There was just something about that scene that spoke to me. My girls. How I adore them.
And then when we were driving on the other side of the lake right just as the sun was sinking behind the mountains. The way the light was angled over this particular field with a barn perched in the middle took my breath away. The round hay bales stood at attention glinting in the sun. To me it symbolized hard work and pure beauty. As we slipped by in our car it was all I could do not to whip into a U-turn to turn around and capture it. My heart was stuck back there on that field and was stretching so far I thought it must surely snap. But I was able to carefully detach it and explain what I loved about it to my kids instead. (They breathed a sigh of relief that we could keep on our way instead of pulling out the good ol' sixth kid...the camera).
And somehow, it's ok to have that etched in my memory instead of on some file on my computer.
I wish I could somehow capture the discussion my children and I had on our road trip on our way to Bear Lake. We had the best talk about making decisions in advance and how doing so could really affect their lives (I'm gonna have to do a whole post about that "decisions in advance" mumbo-jumbo some time because man alive, I think my parents were on to something on that one). It was more of a feeling moment than a picture moment as we drove along through that beautiful scenery. The love in our car was so strong I felt like it may pop the windows right out.
And then there is that picture I have etched in my mind from the last three days...me crunched in a corner of our tiny powder room reading book after book after book to Lu, who sits naked on the toilet in front of me. How the slanting light from the one non-burned-out light bulb lights up her face just so...
I kid...that's NOT a picture I want to keep in my mind or on my hard drive...this is killing me.
So I'll revert to the beautiful memories...maybe that'll get me through potty-training my last child.