I had my first three kids in less than four years. When #3 was born we were in the process of moving to the United States – selling all our stuff, paperwork for my husband’s green card. We moved to the US when our youngest was four months old. I was in the middle of massive re-entry culture shock, having lived outside of the US for the last ten years. I had a dose of post partum depression, a husband working full-time plus and going to school. When I finally got over that, a couple years later, I looked back and realized I couldn’t remember so much of my children during the last two years.
Two years of their lives, full of moments that I couldn’t remember. Didn’t remember first words, or when a child walked, or what a birthday cake looked like. Nothing. It was all a blur.
That’s why I use Instagram.
Those few pictures that I snap during a week, of a child so proud of the handstand that he can now do after practicing for hours, or the pillow that was sewn with no pattern and only a ten year old’s imagination, or the enchiladas that my 8 year old made with no help from me, are reminders that I will have for years, after I might have forgotten otherwise. And we can easily share them with friends and family that are far away.
The quick video I take of someone practicing the piano, or the video of my speech disabled son working so incredibly hard during therapy. I am able to capture those moments so that I won’t forget.
Do we need to be aware of how often we have our phones in our hands? Yes, absolutely. I do not deny that. There are days that I intentionally leave my phone in my bedroom. But I do not regret the pictures of my children and our life together. In five years, when a child asks me about what he was like in 2014, we can look back through the pictures and we can remember. Together.
As a brief aside, earlier today I was reading my friend Pam’s blog, Everyday Snapshots, and she mentioned a wonderful resource for learning to take better pictures with an iPhone. The author, David Molnar, has written a book called iPhone Only Photography: The Art of Capturing Life With The Camera In Your Pocket. A short version is available free for a limited time (I’m assuming until the full version is released), so hurry and download a copy! I’ve really enjoyed quickly reading it and have already learned a couple things that will help me take better photos with the camera that’s always in my pocket. And I’m not earning a penny by telling you about it!