Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Might Have Taken a Picture of...

If I had a camera, I might have photographed:

::my children's excitement as they examined the many critter tracks we saw in the woods this morning
::Jude up in the sturdy embrace of an old cedar tree, climbing higher than ever before
::the wonder on Violet's face as she reached up to hand Jude a "magic wand"
::rosy cheeks on this cold, sunny February day
::a fire built on the snow, using birch bark and apple branches scavenged from behind the smokehouse
::Violet helping me mark out the outlines of the Spring's raised beds, with her little rake
::Margot, in her last week of being one, crying in her red snowsuit

Yes, you read it right. If I had a camera. Last summer, our camera was left in a beach bag. Yes, I'm using the passive tense to describe that event so I don't assign blame on whoever should have taken it out of the bag so that the damp towels wouldn't destroy it. After a time with no camera, a dear friend told me I could use her point-and-shoot until I got a new one.

I can't afford a camera. It's kind of the last thing we can afford these days. We're always behind on some kind of bill (who isn't?) so it's hard to justify spending anything on a HOBBY.

On the evening that I was bringing my friend's camera to return it to her (as her good one was going into the shop for repairs), my children found it and dropped it on its lens. Cameras don't like that. I had a royal tantrum, worthy of any three-year-old. My husband walked into the house to find me bawling with frustration, humiliation, and yes, a healthy dose of self-pity. I have to hand it to myself: I DIDN'T strangle my kids in the aftermath, and didn't even make them feel badly about it, because really, they're just little kids. There's no sense in reprimanding kids when they break stuff that you probably should have stored more safely, right?

That said, I am itching, daily, to chronicle our lives (like the moment the other day when Margot, in a blue princess dress, had her first dance while standing on daddy's feet, or when she stood in the bathroom, naked, blow drying her hair with one hip jutted out), and trying to process my sadness when moments come and go that may never come again. I know there are much worse things I could be experiencing right now.

Just wanted to update you on why I'm so silent these days. Call it Technical Difficulties. Or just another addition to the book, "Sh*t My Kids Ruined"...but wait, I would have needed to take a picture of what they ruined, and...right. You can see my difficulty here. Sigh.


  1. Oh no! You can get one of those point and shoot won't help you to post here but it would be nice to have something on hand to grab for naked blow dry pictures! I'll send new camera vibes your way....maybe one will just fall into your lap!

    Stephanie :)

  2. You should ask all your followers to donate $1 to your "buy a new point-and-shoot" project! I'm sure we'd all love to :o)

  3. Oh, Stephanie, my heart goes out to you. I'm serious here. Being cameraless is wrong, wrong, WRONG! Also sending good camera vibes your way...wish I had been doing it earlier, actually :-(

    Much love...

  4. By writing the moment down like you did is like a picture in words. You will never forget those images now, as long as you live. I find that when I don't have a camera and I want to take a picture of something I use my mental camera. Point and shoot. The image is engrained in my mind and able to be brought to the surface whenever I wish. My photo gallery in my head, so to speak. And as bad as I am about uploading pictures onto the computer, they are probably more useful in my memory.
    I love the quote "Memories are all that we ever really own." (Except when we get dementia or alzheimers, but let's not go there:)

    P.S. Save your change in a little container. Soon you will have enough for that camera.

  5. Being camera-less is definitely a form of torture in my books ~ especially with wee folk in the house offering you those precious picture opportunities again and again. Hoping a camera finds its way to you soon!
    I must say though Steph, you have a wonderful gift of painting pictures with your words. To read what you just wrote had me seeing those perfect shots in my minds eye.

  6. I hope one finds its way to you..... until then.... wishing you many happy photographs to store in your mind & heart.

  7. After many years in a household with a professional film cameraman/photographer, I realized that the moments that weren't documented seemed to not exist. I deliberately spent the next ten years not taking a camera on holidays but relying on my journaling instead. Years later, those journals bring back memories more profoundly than a photo album or video ever could. So keep writing (even though you WILL get another camera in some serendipitous fashion and be able to also take those wonderful pictures as well.


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