there are days when stopping to take a photo is an absolute necessity. some people say that when you're busy photographing everything, you aren't really present. you aren't experiencing. i beg to differ. there are days when i think all that i am doing is moving from one chore to the next and i am constantly battling between making sure the kids have a good childhood that will scar them as minimally as possible and actually getting shit accomplished because i'm not a martyr. i'm not going to wait until the kids are in bed every single day before i clean something or answer a work email. i feel uncomfortable when someone who barely knows me tells me i am a good parent because the truth is...there are days when i am an absolute asshole. there are stretches of time when i am a not so great friend, a lackluster relative, a disconnected partner. there are times when i can't even be bothered to show up for myself and it takes everything in me to not let my kids sit in dirty clothes all day watching sprout. days when i cringe at the thought of them going in the backyard because then it means we absolutely have to take baths tonight and there goes any chance i had for a break before 8pm. there are days when my four year old and i are on opposite sides of the fence and we look at each other like strangers. but then she asks to help with lunch. and i say yes. and i grab my camera. because i want to remember this. this moment when she spread the peanut butter and the jelly but she can't cut the bread yet. this window where she wants to help with everything and her days are spent under my construction, within earshot of me at all times. i take a photo and as the shutter clicks, i stop. and i feel the moment pass by me, slowly. i acknowledge it and it sticks with me longer than the moment before when i sighed inwardly because i really just wanted to make the sandwich and get on with doing something else, my running ticker of a to do list scrolling across my forehead. i take these little photos and i preserve these tiny little pockets of time so that later, i will look at this photo and i will only remember that today, we got dirty. we made sandwiches. we said i love you. and though this heat has killed any grass we had growing, summer is starting to finally say goodbye. i will remember that i stopped long enough to actually notice.