P: Mooma, Mamoo, Mama.
Once you become a mother, you become the keeper of memories. You are suddenly responsible for the collecting, compiling, and storing of all of the firsts: teeth, steps, words. You store them away jealously, guarding these details that mark the passing of time. You study them and file them, like there might be a pop quiz at any moment.
One of the most important parts of being the archivist of your children’s childhood is the photographic documentation of their every waking moment, and frankly a fair number of their sleeping moments too. I started to notice, when scrolling through the countless digital images, that something, or rather someone, was missing. I had become such a diligent archivist, that I had managed to eliminate myself. It was then that I started making an attempt to pass the camera to Jim.
I realized that I couldn’t be alone, so I started to make a real effort when I had my camera with me, to watch, when I was around the other mothers in my life, woman that I admire and respect, and if I could, to snap a picture for them. While I started out just snapping pictures for them, I ended up finding so much joy, beauty, and strength.
Being the keeper of the memories is not an easy job. Some of those memories are heavy and hard to hold. We are all someone’s child, and even if it isn't a mother who holds your memories, tomorrow is a good day to say thank you.
And to those of you have taken on your own archival duties, remember to pass the camera off, to make yourself a part of the record, because your children deserve to see your joy, your beauty, and your strength.
Happy Mother’s Day.