Recently a good friend of mine sent a sweet text saying how much she had enjoyed seeing my fall photos on facebook recently but mentioned what a shame it was that I was not actually in any single one of them. When I browsed through my library to check this out as a whole I realized she was indeed right. It made me immediately kind of sad that I hadn't realized it had stopped occurring to me to include myself in much of anything we do these days. That I was missing in nearly all our fun-filled weekends and school fields trips, or holiday events we had experienced as a family. An invisible force behind the ever loving lens of documentation. Without so much as a single shot of me making the brownies they devoured at those school festivals, the sewing (or, let's be honest, glue gunning construction) of all those costumes that won them awards, the school projects and class parties I helped oversee. The crafts I prepared and the books I read them. In other words, zero proof of the everyday contributions I put in to in regards to all they will hopefully cherish down the line from this point in their childhood. And it was in fact a real "shame"to admit.
Unfortunately, I know this to be the plight of so many other mothers (Or fathers depending on who wears the role as designated family photographer) In most cases it's one or the other, right? The complaints are common: "they won't even know they had a mother on vacation with them!" or "you'd think they were raised by a crafty single father" - all of which I never paid much mind to until I realized this had become our very situation. The less effort I put into including myself, the less they will likely remember about little aspects of my time with them during these years. Silly things like the way I dressed, or the things I failed at and some others that made them proud. Which is why from now on I vow to put in more of an effort to make myself a priority. To force myself to count just as much as everybody else. To remember to ask Mike, or Arlo, or a stranger on the beach for that matter to snap a photo of me, with them . . . of us all.
Because when it all comes down to it, they boys deserve to remember their mother just as much as I do them, and these fleeting times together as a loving, growing family of five.
Photos above taken by my talented friend, Denise Bovee.
Pulling off sandy wet pants for him to venture into an endless ocean in his brother's underwear, just as the sun was falling away and the surf was picking up.
- san onofre st beach, august, 2013