Printing Out the Photos and Looking Back: 5 Minutes of Motherhood

I finally got around to printing photos of Claire. In the age of the digital camera, you can imagine what a rare occasion that is. She’s seven months old now, so we’d accumulated quite a trove that I painstakingly went through to weed out photos. There were the serious ones, the striking ones, the funny ones, the cute ones.

Lest I remember all her life as one perfectly preened photo session, though, I also included a few others, that would typically be deemed outtakes. The ones where she’s screaming or crying or just has a mad look on her face. Truth be told, those are the pictures that make up a lot of her first few months.

I still cannot fathom the newborn baby photo shoot. I can’t wrap my head around a baby who will sleep soundly long enough to let you dress them up and put them in adorable poses and then take a reel of images. I can’t wrap my head around a baby who will just lay there, looking around, to get enough good pictures to make it worth your while. I can’t understand it, because that was not my experience.

Consequently, we didn’t start getting consistently “good” pictures of Claire until she was almost three months old. Sure there were a couple here and there when we caught her in a good mood or when I had the energy to get my camera out and capture a moment. But a lot of those early days caught on film are not the prettiest. Still, I printed them because they were our days.

When I was showing the pictures to my sister, she said it so truly: “She looks so different in these photos. She looks so mad in them all.” Because when you move the stack of pictures to the side, standing before you, you see a baby so bright and happy that it seems she’s a completely different person. That this girl in the photos is another, not the cheerful one right here who’s so excited that she’s bouncing up and down with joy.

So, I put the pictures back in their envelope and return to play with my baby girl. The one who smiles with glee and makes my world a happier place.

These days of motherhood are consuming and taking the time to blog can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of it all. But these days of motherhood are also fleeting and I don’t want to let them slip by. And so this series of posts, Five Minutes of Motherhood, are my attempts to capture some of these moments—whether poignant or not—in the short spurts of time available to me these days: a time-limit of five minutes. That way the moment gets memorialized and then I can get back to life—back to motherhood. Click here to read all the posts in the Five Minutes of Motherhood series.

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like we have a similar experience with pictures of the first months of our babies lives. I noticed most of the only times I took pictures when K was a newborn, were of him sleeping because that's the only time he was not crying and looked peaceful. I'm glad you are printing out pictures even the ones that remind you of those hard, early days. It's a good reminder to know that your now bubbly, happy baby was somewhere underneath all the screaming & crying as a newborn. ;)


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