Stepping in front of the lens

It was my 34th birthday. And all I wanted was a picture of the joy we shared as a family. With me in it. 

It wasn't so long ago I hid behind the camera, the family historian. I weigh more than I want to. My hair never seems to cooperate. My everyday clothes are yoga pants and a t-shirt. Who wants to have photos of a person like that?

My husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my friends. That's who. It wasn't until I was browsing through photos shortly after my cancer diagnosis in 2008 that I realized how few pictures there were of me with my children. And I wanted that to change. I wanted there to be a visual legacy of our relationship.

It's hard. I have to ask someone to take the photo. I have to ask Aaron to go fetch the camera during those spontaneous moments when the last thing you want to do is interrupt it to ask for a photo. But that's what you have to do when you're the photographer in the family, and you want to have photos of yourself.

There are many candids I'd never share here. Pictures of me in my pajamas. Pictures of my belly roll exposed because I'm wrestling with my children. Pictures of yoga and pictures of dancing and pictures of cooking and pictures of wild games and crazy family moments. Those are for my children and my family. Not social media. But the point is - they exist. They are in the photo albums and on the walls of my home and in the cockles of my heart.

Because the point is not perfection.  The point is I was here, I was with them, we did these things, and I want something to remember that by - for me and for them.

How about you? Are you the mom with a plethora of "selfies" on Facebook with your kids? Or are you the mom of whom there are few photos? Be brave, friend. Be courageous enough to be beautiful in all your forms and for the posterity of the camera. You won't regret it.