I haven’t taken as many pictures of my kids lately. I know, some people are probably thinking “well, you have over 20,000 pics on your phone — that is probably enough.” But, it’s not enough for me. And no, that number is not an exaggeration.
I used to take at least 20 pics a day — from silliness to sobbing to sleeping — every moment with my kids was captured in a still frame portrait on my phone. Literally every night, I crept into their bedroom and snapped a precious shot of their sleeping faces.
Whatever we were doing, where ever we were, I was catching those memories in the net of my camera. First words, first pottying, first crawl, first steps — they are all on video.
Play time at the park — better get her coming down the slide. Putting together a puzzle — better get every piece. Cuddles on the couch — don’t miss that candid capture.
I’d like to believe that I have slowed down on snapping pictures because I am truly taking in the moment. I am just more involved now. Surely, I do not need to capture every single moment together but rather just enjoy the present.
I wish that was the case. Instead, I am swimming in the sea of full-time working motherhood and barely have the time to open up my camera. Well, sometimes I am swimming. Other times, I am certain that I am drowning.
While I am finally through need-you-all-the-time baby and toddler ages, it didn’t free up my time as I had imagined. In fact, the older my girls get, the more our schedule fills. And even though it is summer and the chains of dance and T-ball are finally released, we still have cheer camp, safety city, and every other activity that I want to give my girls a chance to decide if they like.
And summer as a working adult is almost a tease. Great, we finally have time to do all these fun things. Oh wait, I still work Monday through Friday. And remember I still need to rock it at work, be an amazing mom, make time to work-out, be home for dinner, and let’s not forget how many more baths are needed.
Time is such a funny thing. The cost of it is nothing. It is handed to us by the great Lord above with a caveat — we don’t really know how much we have to spend. It’s not like our bank account where we can clearly see what we can afford.
In my opinion, time is the most precious, yet unfair, gift that slaps us all down to an even slate. It is the one thing we all have equally of, but only at the present, as we have no idea what capacity we hold in the long run.
It’s time to wake up, it’s time to go to the sitters, it’s time for work, it’s time to come home, it’s time for dinner, it’s time to get ready for bed, it’s time to go to sleep, it’s time to start over again.
This week, my oldest baby requested that I carry her from the car to her bed. Faking that she was asleep, I honored her request. But this child, she is all of 65 pounds! And the walk to her bed was not easy on me.
As I passed the bathroom with her in tow, I had flashbacks from every single bath when she was smaller. You see, I always cuddled her up in a towel and let her pick a number and we would count down from that to “Super Mom” as I flew her to her already laid out jammies.
I haven’t done that for some time now. No, I can’t remember how long “some time” has been, nor can I remember the last time. Once Reagan came along, I would carry them both in Super Mom form, but, one day, they got too big for that. Our count down and Super Mom just faded away like the minutes that pass without realization.
And it made me realize that time, it is passing whether I catch it on my camera or not. And while I like to think I am making memories in my head that I will never forget, I sometimes have to open the gallery on my phone to remind me of my girls’ squishy newborn cheeks and first wobbly walks.
I need more time and, since that is one thing I cannot possibly get, then I need more pictures so I will never forget this time of silly smiles full of lost baby teeth as well as a 4 year old full of mischief. Because, although it is crazy and chaotic and there’s never enough, this time right now is truly the best time of my life.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.