I still have a flip phone. It’s by choice. And I love it. I realize this is not for everyone, but I have found it to be one of the things in my control that keeps me more present with my children.
Not having an on hand camera everywhere I go has been absolutely wonderful for me. It means I am forced to stay in the moment. I’m forced to just stare and observe or run and play with my children in that moment of now. If I hurriedly whipped out my phone to take pictures or a video every time these precious 24/7 moments with my children came along, I’d miss it. The moment. The memory.
My children’s memories of their childhood will be engrained since they are often closely tied to a strong feeling or emotion they had. This memory will be with them whether or not they have a picture of it. But if I did whip out the camera, I feel I would lose that memory and that moment with them. I would be looking at it through a device instead of my own eyes.
But if I did whip out the camera, I feel I would lose that memory and that moment with them. I would be looking at it through a device instead of my own eyes.
Cameras just aren’t personal enough for me. When I have a camera blocking my view of the now: my children’s childhood, my parenthood. I can’t ever get that moment back. Though I can play it over and over on a device or see it over and over in a photo, I will never have gotten to see it first hand.
This all being said, I believe in photos. I believe in capturing their little faces and our happy family. I want those photos to adorn the walls of our home. I believe in those precious little everyday-type videos too. What I don’t believe in is the excess. It takes me away from staying present in my real glory days. The days of having the blessing of pregnant bellies and toddler giggles. My babies, as beautiful and precious as they are, do not need a thousand photos of their first year.
There is a reason why we cherish seeing photos of our parents and grandparents when they were young. It’s because there are so few, and that makes them extraordinarily special. We are not overwhelmed when we look through their albums, we take our time to view and examine each one. When there are thousands to sort through, the time and effort of viewing and examining each one is lost. And if you are looking for a certain photo, that task is as frustrating as it is time-consuming.
Where I feel the most joy and have the most vivid pictures painted in my mind. All these memories don’t have a photo to accompany them
When I look back on my childhood and my parenthood, there are certain memories that stick out the most. Where I feel the most joy and have the most vivid pictures painted in my mind. All these memories don’t have a photo to accompany them. Because of this, I know that my children will also not need a photo to accompany each daily moment of their life. I don’t need to feel any guilt about not taking my camera everywhere we roam. There will still be many photos of each age and each special holiday for us to look through and cherish. But I will remember so much more having put the camera down and soaked in the moment hands-free. There will be much to reminisce about, all the moments and stories of them growing up. That precious moment that live in your mind and heart without a physical trace to be publicly showcased is an incredible gift to hand down to my children.
For the best memories, take the blurriest photos.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.