Don’t you love it when you can justify yourself? Doesn’t it feel good when you can prove yourself right or at least convince yourself that you are?
Last night shortly before dinner, I asked Sugar Bear if she would like to head down our driveway to get the mail with me. Often she tells me, “no thanks!” but tonight she excitedly agreed. Half way down, she stopped to pick up a stick, happily announcing, “I play in mud,mama!” I smiled remembering our last trip to the mailbox, when there was a nice big mud puddle near it. I replied, “oh honey, I am not sure there is mud down there anymore!” Sugar Bear just smiled and trotted down to where is used to be. She was a tad disappointed.
I was getting our mail out of our box when Sugar Bear announced that she was going to “go find mud!” Off she headed down our gravel road where we live. I put the mail back in the box and followed her. First we reached our neighbors driveway, where a huge puddle had been not long ago…it was dry. Then we kept going to the very end. I so hoped we would find a puddle, as Sugar Bear was VERY sure we would. As we rounded the bend, whew…I spied a small puddle. Sugar Bear was overjoyed! We spent the next 15 minutes or so finding rocks to throw into it. She also finds great joy in whacking it with her stick. Soon we were both covered in small drops of muddy water. Oh the fun! Somehow, I managed to convince her that we needed to head back to the house to make spaghetti.
As we wandered back, I realized that this little trip was the first time I had ever been on a walk without my camera. If you know me at all, you know that my camera is generally attached to my hand. There has been a tiny little voice in my head for quite sometime wondering if I was spending too much of my daughter’s childhood behind the lens. I worried that I wasn’t fully experiencing her life. I worried that I wasn’t really interacting with her, and that she wasn’t truly engaging with me, as I furiously pressed the shutter . This little voice has been nagging me…nagging me……but I hushed it up because I adore the whole photography process.
Last night as we walked hand in hand, I realized that our little walk didn’t feel any different than all the ones before. I realized that neither Sugar Bear nor I seemed to feel any more joyous. I realized that our interaction had not been any different. We were connected as we always are. That little voice has been quieted. I now feel confident that as I document my daughter’s life, I am still very connected, and very much a part of those moments. The best part is….I don’t have to rely on my ever decreasing memory to recall those special moments. I love it when I am justified!
Since I didn't take my camera last night...you'll just have to enjoy some pictures from a walk we had a few months ago. :)