Wednesday, September 19, 2012

in the moment

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.


  1. "days when I can't even be bothered to show up for myself"...yes, and yes again. Sometimes too many. We need these pauses, these little reminders to let us know we're still present. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. Very good point Krista. Anything that helps me be present is a good thing. I have a terrible memory and pictures help solidify things for me, as does writing. Photography is capturing now, and writing is looking back to capture.

  3. Yes. Yes, yes, yes! We take photographs to capture time, of course. But we also take them to live in it - to be immersed in this beautiful mess called parenting. Yes.

  4. thank you for keeping it real. no parent, and no child is perfect! there are beautiful moments, and there are plenty of ugly ones, too! :)

    years ago i used to babysit. dinner time DROVE ME BONKERS. it would take the kids about AN HOUR to eat a chicken leg and some vegetables. HELLO!?!?!?!??! let's move things along! i used to clean around the kids while they ate. i am not explaining it well, but they would be at the dinner table nomming and staring into space while i sponged around them and their plates. ugh. i used to put them down for VERY VERY LONG NAPS. hours and hours. i would have made a terrible parent, for sure! :)

  5. Well, parenting is not easy. Not at all. But those wonderful moments, those 'will never have these moments again' moments make the whole entire thing worth it. Krista, I believe you should submit to a new parenting literary magazine a friend of mine from Portland just started. You fit right in, my dear friend. I will send you the info on Facebook.

  6. These pictures are a story -and the words you put on paper are pictures - the way you throw them into a blender and give us these pieces of art - they are a treasure, a momento, a keepsake, and beautiful memories you share with all of us - how fortunate we are to be included in your world. And your children, my grandchildren, will be able to relive their childhood through these treasures. And we can all remember what an awesome partner/friend/relative/mother you truly are. As for those off-moments - if we all kept track of our "disregards", "should-have dones", certain to-dos put in front of needed to-dos, we'd never have that special moment. If I'd had a camera on me, I would have taken a picture of you making me a pnut butter and jelly sandwich on my bed when I was sick. That would have been something to frame and stare at years later (like now) were about the same age as Finn. Love you, Kritter.......

  7. I do this, too. And that first one took my breath because Gray had those Babystyle pants so long ago (or something that looked very similar!)


  8. yes))) yes to all of it, krista. yes to slowing down, yes to being present and remembering and even yes to being an asshole. (ok, a whole lot of yes to this and thank you for admitting it. it's hard. we're not always good people but we try to be...that's where it counts...i hope:)

    here's something that i've learned to do in the last couple years that has helped - sometimes after playing in the yard or running through the town or ravaging beach sides or forests, we even go to bed dirty. truly. i've loosened the yolk, reprioritized, because in the end we only have ourselves to answer to. (i realized that i was asking the wrong things of myself sometimes and this is where i would come up short.)



use your kind words.