“Mama, I’ll just take the picture in my mind.”
We were at our soon-to-be home tonight and as we moved some things into the garage until closing, my daughter ran and played in the yard. I yelled to my husband, “do you have your phone?” I didn’t have mine to take the photo and he didn’t have his readily available and was holding a huge box, so I just stopped, sat on the steps, and watched her play. My son stopped with me for a little and said that he would just take a photo in his mind.
His words really resonated with me, so I simply stopped what I was doing to watch her play even after he ran off to help his dad. I paused from the day’s work and just took it all in: her strawberry blonde curls bounced as she ran; her bluest eyes sparkled with delight–my dream come true right there in the front yard with the view of the mountains. She picked clovers and brought them back to me on the step, laughing and hugging me with pride each time only for her chubby little legs to run down again to the patch of flowery weeds. We played this game until she spotted a tiny, white butterfly and then, I watched her run and chase it.
As I sat and watched her, my husband fetched his phone and took some photos of her because we really both do want to have a reminder of this day–the first day she played in her new yard. But my son reminded me that all I need is my mind and I will forever and ever have the memory of this etched into it, with or without a photo. Dreams come true and watching her play (and my son later, too) in the yard with a view of the mountains really was just so perfect. But if I hadn’t stopped to watch her–to really take it all in–I fear I might not have even noticed how beautiful the moment really was.
Both of my children have reminded me to live in the moment and to remember what I’ve always loved. Having them has been like a camera lens coming into focus, and my eyes can be the camera; they are the camera–open now to see this beauty all around me.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me, my friends, as we all take these photos in our minds and commit these days to our memories. They truly are fleeting and even as we have tasks to complete (of course), there is nothing more important than opening our eyes to the children who play before us.