|First day of school|
What do you see when you look at this picture? My guess is that you see a family who laughs easily. A mother who adores her girls. Two teenagers who might not think their mom is half bad. Three, smiling, happy faces. A picture of love and laughter.
Can you guess the first thing *I* saw when I looked at this picture? I saw an overweight woman whose smile is too big, whose eyes are too squinty, whose double chin is quite noticeable and whose fingers look like sausage links. THAT was my instant reaction. And I cringed when I saw it.
Two years ago this picture would never have been taken. I despised being in FRONT of the camera. I hated having all my imperfections recorded for all time. Before two years ago, I avoided being on the lens side as much as possible. Then, a few things seemed to click. Won’t go into all the details here and now, but I decided that it would really suck for my kids if they did not have pictures with their mom. Or worse yet, it would really suck for ME if, God forbid, something happened to one of them and I didn’t have record of us together. At that point, I started allowing my husband to take more pictures of me. I would still cringe, but I allowed it. Still hating to have my picture taken but understanding of its importance.
Then a few months ago, I read a blog post that felt like the author was talking directly to me. She addressed everything that I had been feeling. And although I had been getting better at allowing others to take my picture, I did not welcome or encourage it.
I want to share the segment that really struck me. And I encourage you to read her whole post here: http://myfriendteresablog.com/so-youre-feeling-too-fat-to-be-photographed/
“So here is the harsh truth y’all. Listen good. Our vanity is no longer enough of a reason to avoid the camera. Life doesn’t wait until you “get thin” enough to capture it. Life is happening . . . it is happening right now and the only moment we are guaranteed is the one we are living. I shudder at the thought of leaving behind no pictures of my life with ME in it.”
After reading this, I started doing something I’d never done before. I began to actively ask my husband to take my picture. My instant reaction is still to cringe and hide, but I don’t. I want a record of my relationship with my children and my husband. I want them to look back and remember the laughter and silliness that runs so rampant in our family. I want them to remember the love.
So, I closed my eyes, pushed back the critical voice in my head, took a deep breath, and when I looked at this picture a second time I saw how gorgeous my daughters are. I saw their sweet smiles and I could hear their wonderful laughter. I saw my love for those girls on my face. I looked at my youngest and noticed that she has MY “squinty eyes and MY big smile”… and she is beautiful!
Shame on me for looking at this photo and seeing anything less than the beauty of love and laughter that is so obviously present.