Apologies from a bad sister/aunt

I owe my sister and her son a huge apology. When visiting with my family last week, I wasn’t the most sociable person. As I initially reflected upon the visit, I blamed my hermit-like behavior on the fact that I was suffering from a severe case of mommy burnout. All the noise and activity associated with 3 small children was enough to put me on overload. I was content to let the grandparents monitor my kids as I was glued to either my camera or my computer. And I chastised myself the entire drive home for being such a party pooper. Because I see my sister once or twice a year.  And on this visit, I blew it.

Then yesterday I had an epiphany… one that would explain my bad behavior. Note I did not say excuse my bad behavior. I realized something about myself: my memories are stored in the form of pictures. Somewhere in my brain is a lobe that resembles a Creative Memories album on steroids. Which explains my obsession fascination with photography. As I probed further, I realized that my memories are intricately tied to visual images, a sort of mental snapshot of the events in my life. I rely on photographs to serve as my memory. Because I am terrified that my brain will fail me and I will forget the important, and not-so-important, pieces that are all a part of my history.

And that is why I love taking photographs. Because they are a record of who we are, a way to capture all of the tiny little details that make us unique. As memories fade, which they always do… photographs are often our only reminder of the way things were.

Christina and Luke, I am sorry that I did not hang out with you more while we were at mom and dad’s last week. Just so you know, I was there, paying attention. I soaked in everything. And the way that I do that best is with my camera. Would you like to see how I will always remember Luke on this trip?

We’ll start first with a few images of Luke with my daughters. Chloe referred to him as “that kid” and then eventually “my cousin”. And while Ella is too young to comment much on life, I could tell that she enjoyed the influence of her big cousin.

A rare, quiet moment

Kickin' it by the pool

I wonder what a 2 and 3 year old contemplate while dipping their feet in the pool… You know what memories this photo will trigger for me? First, the awesomeness that is my mother-in-law. I asked her to make Chloe a little kerchief to wear in her hair and she sews a beautiful headband that Anthropologie would kill to get their hands on (sorry – I don’t have any photos that do it justice). And second, which is not really visible in this photo, that Luke spent most of this morning running around the pool without his pants. Or diaper. I have two girls and I must admit, I was disarmed by the presence of his little winkie. But I suppose boys will be boys. And I’m sure that Christina got a good laugh out of Luke freaking out his aunt and grandparents.

Ella gets a lesson from Luke

This kid has an arm! He stood atop of these rocks and zinged them right into the stream, one right after the other. Can you see how impressed my little Ella is? I was just happy that he didn’t hit my lens with one of those rocks! Mark my words… this kid will wind up with a Golden Glove or two in his trophy case.

Here are a few more shots of Luke from last week. Luke just being himself.

Luke and his car

Contemplating the bubbles

Playing with mommy

Popping bubbles

T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

No more paparazzi

And that is how I will remember my visit with Luke. Toy cars and bubbles and naked shenanigans by the pool… everything I would expect from a 2 year old boy. Except that this 2 year old boy is special. He is my nephew. And while I did not physically spend much time with him, I will always have this little part of him to keep with me forever. And which I can share with his aunts and uncles and grandpa on the other side of the map.

With that, I will pick up my camera and take more pictures. Because there are lots of memories to be made and I don’t want to miss a second!

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3 thoughts on “Apologies from a bad sister/aunt

  1. wow….I can TOTALLY relate to what you are saying, especially “my memories are intricately tied to visual images”….I feel like I was reading something I wrote but had forgotten I’d written it! 🙂 I think about this a lot, when we are out experiencing any one of my sons “firsts”…I worry I am too concerned with the camera that I don’t get to experience the real-life moments….but on the other hand I can’t bare to think about the possibility of missing that potentially PERFECT shot that I’m going to look at numerous times throughout my life. This is partially due to the fact that I have a few of those shots…those “OMG – I absolutely ADORE this photo and cannot stop looking at it!” I am afraid I am going to miss one of *those* shots…but I guess we need to be careful though…they won’t be little forever!!! 🙂

    • Yay! Someone who understands me! My husband thinks I’m nuts, and he is probably right… Last night I spent half an hour in my daughter’s room, trying to get the perfect shot of her feet hanging out of her crib as she slept 🙂
      Here’s to capturing the PERFECT shot while enjoying life’s wonderful moments… we can have it all, right?

      • Too funny….I have to laugh because we have a video monitor and this morning when I clicked it on, the only thing I could see was my son (with him obviously laying on his belly), and his legs from only his knees down, sticking out from the corner of the screen, with his ankles crossed. I *thought* about trying to take a picture of the screen because I KNEW if I snuck in his room and tried to snap a pic, thanks to our old, farm house wooden floors, he’d wake up before I had time to even take my lens cap off!

        Does your husband hunt or fish? I think hunters/fisherman are nuts because they wake up at the CRACK of dawn to go and sit outside (when it’s usually cold out!) and waste hours and hours HOPING to catch something! LOL

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