I try to put a picture with every post, but I can’t always come up with one. Sometimes the photos of me are flattering, other times not so much. I’m not too happy that the recent pictures of me show significant signs of aging. Photoshop isn’t my thing, but it would be nice to touch them up a bit.
So why don’t I just leave the pictures of me out altogether since the kids and the dog are much younger and cuter and are such willing subjects? Because I’m the mom, that’s why.
After my mother died, I searched through piles of photos, absolutely hungry for images of her. I found quite a few from her younger years—homecoming queen, college student, young bride-- or as I used to so eloquently say to her, “Back when you were pretty, Mommy!” I had a collage made for my dorm room wall, all featuring pictures of her, but still I wanted more.
I watched our few home movies, by then converted to VHS, but I saw only one fleeting image of her, merely a second long. Her voice, which I forgot two days after she died, remained elusive as I listened to tiny answering machine tapes in the hopes of hearing it just one more time. My friends still had her voice in their heads, but for me it was gone.
It seems that moms just aren’t in that many pictures. Either we are always the ones taking them, or we avoid the camera because we think we won’t look good.
Indeed, our kids sometimes wield the camera and snap pictures straight up our nostrils or of the cellulite on the back of our thighs. Not pretty. Every picture Molly takes of me looks like a surprised Hillary Clinton. This is one of the LEAST crazy looking ones she's taken of me...
More likely, however, child photographers will take pictures of Lego creations or pets. I don’t mind, since cameras are digital and images now limitless, but that didn’t go over very well in the 70’s when I was growing up.
One roll of film usually carried my family from the first day of school through to Easter, so my mom didn’t look too kindly on what she considered “wasted” pictures taken by the kids.
My personal favorite was my series entitled “Cat in a Paper Bag.”
Unfortunately, none of the cat showed. Mom finally put her foot down after yet another set of blurry hamster pics and made the NO ANIMALS or SCENERY rule. To this day, I have a hard time taking a picture without a person in it.
In the 80’s, we got more leeway and camera rights and we got my mom in a few more shots, but I will always regret that she died during the Disc Camera era—crappier, blurrier pictures there have never been.
I still can’t seem to get it together enough to have professional pictures taken of my family. I guess it’s too late to get those gorgeous, artsy pictures of the kids with naked hineys or tiny hands curled around mine. 7 ½ and 10 years old would be pushing it, right? But I do try to have my little camera ready to capture special moments when they arise.
And I’m determined to make sure the camera turns around on me, too.
When I look at shots of myself, I may see wrinkles, a stubborn lack of exercise and an inch of gray, but someday my kids will just see…MOM.