I spent some time with my son at the park today. Just us, the swings, ladders, slides, tunnels, stairs, sunshine, dirt, wood chips and…last but not least, my camera.
As most mommies do, I love taking pictures of my kids! Having all those sweet moments captured in a photo that I can look back on and remember and show off to friends and family.
We arrived at the park, I get him out of the carseat and turn my camera on. I look down to find the screen is black – dead battery.
No biggie! I can use my phone..
..oh wait, it’s at home on the charger. Battery is, also, dead.
So there we are, the perfect picture taking setting with no camera and no phone – which means no picture taking.
My first reaction was disappointment.
However, disappointment was quickly transformed into joy.
With these distractions taken away, I could give my focus fully to him.
We run and race; we climb and chase.
We find a tree to sit under, he grabs my hand and gently places it around his shoulder and onto his knee (I loves when he does this).
We climb the steps to the top of the slide then together slowly make our way to the bottom.
We run to the swings; he straddles my waist and sits on my lap and giggles as I tip-toe us back with my feet and let go.
I hold on to the chains and lean back, he lays his head down on my chest and surrounds my neck in his sweet embrace.
He lifts up his head to give me a wet, dirty face, toddler kiss on my cheek as we rock to the gentle, steady rhythm of the swing.
It’s amazing how he knows. He knows that there is nothing wedged between us; nothing he must compete with for my attention.
Kids running and screaming, dogs barking, a couple to our right discussing the health benefits of Quinoa, the school track team running behind us; yet in this moment it all fades into a distant whisper, right now – it’s just us.
Some of these snapshots in life aren’t meant to be displayed in a photo.
Some moments are too precious to be interrupted by an attempt to capture it. A camera cannot begin to comprehend it’s value. These are the times that are to be treasured and cherished on the hidden canvas of my memory. To be kept in the secret place of my heart because only there can it be truly understood.
I’m thankful my camera failed me. If I had it there with me, the opportunity for me to drink of this moment may have flowed through the cracks of distraction.
I think I may miss these times often. I become more concerned about documenting the memory in a photo that I forget to fully experience it.
I don’t want to miss a single second of bonding, loving, teaching, praising, laughing, running, skipping, building, climbing, hide-and-go-seeking, boo-boo-kissing, picture-painting, mud-puddle-jumping, lullaby-singing, live-for-God-encouraging, exhausted-late-night-rocking, early-morning-snuggling, bible-story-reading, bedtime-praying, fully-engaged-experiencing and knowing my precious children.
Sometimes, this means I need to leave the camera at home.