Mama was there.
Oh, there are so many directions I could go with those three words. I could write about how I was there anytime my child needed me in the middle of the night. I could write about how I was always there when she was sick. I could write about how I attended almost every single school function and chaired many of them. But that’s not what I’m talking about today.
Today, I’m writing about how Mama was there on vacation and at events, but Mama rarely shows up in the pictures. And do you know why? If you’re a mama, you know why: Mama doesn’t show up in many pictures, because Mama is always behind the camera taking the pictures. It’s true. Chances are, you can look through the family photos of most of your friends, and you will rarely see Mama.
We just returned home from a few days in Miami. Our college-age daughter and her roommate met us there. By all accounts, we had a great time. We spent time in the sun. We swam in the pool and the Atlantic Ocean. We ate at a couple of my very favorite restaurants. We relaxed. We laughed. I took lots of pictures of my daughter and her roommate. I took lots of pictures of my husband and our daughter. I took lots of pictures of the three of them. Ask me how many pictures other people took of me with anyone else. One. Yep. One. And do you know why someone took that picture? My husband took that single out-of-focus picture of me with our daughter on the last night, because I finally asked, “Do you mind taking a photo of me and [our daughter]?”
Why was it important to me? I don’t really care if I am photographed regularly, but it was important to me to have a picture that isn’t a selfie, because even though my daughter thinks it’s weird, I do take selfies. “Mom, why do you take selfies?” Umm…because no one else takes pictures of Mom? Also, when I die, I’d like for my daughter to look at pictures and know that I was there for the fun. I’d like for her children to look at pictures and know I was there. I know my daughter will remember I was there. I have dragged her on vacations for years. But if her kids find photos later, they’ll think, “Why didn’t Grandma go on vacation with everyone else?” Well, the girl grandchildren will think that until they become mothers themselves. Then, they will realize moms are always taking the photos on vacation and rarely get offers to be in the photos.
So yes, last night, in the last few minutes of our Miami vacation, I handed my iPhone to my husband and asked, “Can you please take a picture of me with our daughter in front of the skyline?” He happily obliged, taking my iPhone and waiting patiently as she and I posed. Here is where I tell you my husband doesn’t have an iPhone (he has a Samsung), so he doesn’t really know how the camera works. At night, there is a flash setting that takes a three-second exposure to get the lighting right, but he doesn’t know that. That’s how I ended up with an out-of-focus photo. To be fair, he took five or six photos, but because he didn’t know about the three-second exposure, he would click the shutter and quickly move the camera, and the photos were a blurry mess. In fact, in all except the one, we aren’t even identifiable. It’s not his fault. I should have remembered to tell him, but I didn’t. That’s the other thing…moms should remember to tell Dad to hold the camera still for three seconds.
Next time you’re on vacation, make sure you include Mama in some of the photos.
At least I have one photo that’s only slightly out-of-focus. Heck, maybe it’s better, since I was having bad hair days the whole time I was there anyway. My grandkids will look at it one day and ask, “Why was Grandma blurry?”