My Heart Dropped (Then Picked Right Back Up)
I opened the envelope and pulled out the index print of images today and my heart dropped. I messed up the exposure on every single image on the roll of film.
I was kicking myself for feeling confident, for relying on the not-so-reliable light meter in the old camera since my 2 year old threw my actually reliable light meter down the stairs and it broke, for not just sticking with the reliable Sunny 16 when in doubt. For taking my film to a place where I know the scans are repeatedly awful, but it meets my need for instant gratification.
Mostly, my heart dropped because when we were leaving the house this morning, I decided to leave the digital camera at home and in doing so messed up every picture from the loveliest day we’ve had in a long time.
I’ve been wanting to take the kids to water for what feels like forever, but our daily routine of morning activity followed by lunch and naps sort of makes it hard to go to pools that don’t even open until noon. I’ve been hunting for a good shallow creek to let them explore with no luck and, honestly, at near 100 degrees for a solid week or two now, I wanted a bit more body of water. So I decided last night at 10pm to get all packed up and ready to head to a lake at a State Park about an hour away first thing this morning.
We swam. Had perfect weather for a day in the water. Got a sunburn for the first time in a long time(me, not the kids thankfully.) Played in the sand. Stayed in the water for over two hours straight. Didn’t play with toys more than a shovel and a found old fork. Had real conversation with my mom. Wore a bathing suit and didn’t once think about or care how I looked. Ate ice cream and nachos from a concession stand for lunch. Napped in the car. Felt the sunshine on our shoulders.
It was just what we all needed – an adventure away, time spent quietly together, time spent outside with sunshine and blue skies, lots of little ones’ laughs and smiles and discovered treasures in the world. All of those memories remain, pictures or not. I think I need to remind myself of this every so often.
I often grasp for memory documentation, especially through a lens, because I know how fleeting this time is while they’re so small. This time when she squeals with glee when she finally accomplishes something that makes her feel like a big kid. This time when he has the very few in-between baby moments left of letting me just hold him and float in the water with him in my arms, stealing kisses and smelling his curls and the sweetness of his neck.
These memories remain. Even if details get blurry later in life or we don’t have pictures to remember, I know that I have tried my hardest to live the moments of their lives being present and loving them to the absolute best of my ability and to the point of a heart bursting full of love. I may have failed at getting exposures right on film today, but we definitely succeeded at having a really wonderful day full of so much goodness – and that’s what matters.