True confession time.
Early in the summer, I bribed my family to start taking pictures including me.
And they have!
Not all of them are flattering, and not all of them will be shared with the world.
But here's the thing. I love taking pictures of them. Lee's ridiculous humor getting a simultaneous eyeball roll and laugh out of Bethany. My two "men" engaged in a lively ballgame. The love-hate relationship between my pre-adolescents. I know when it's coming and I know how to capture it. But MY relationship with my family members? Virtually undocumented. It's not that there are no pictures of me. It's that they are almost all posed, and they don't show the natural exchanges between myself and the people I love. THIS is why I should hire a photographer. Truly. But I haven't managed to bring that to the top of the budget priority list yet. So I am trying to be intentional about teaching my family how to include me, even if it's a little staged.
I have mentioned here that as I've reflected on reaching mid-life, I realize I've been tempted at times to be intimidated by my younger self. It sounds ridiculous, but it is true. And if I allowed that idea to take hold, I would be reluctant to be in photos, because I once had fewer wrinkles and fewer bulges and fewer chins, and I completely intend to get back to pristine physical condition "one of these days". There are surely better days just ahead for photos of me!
But you know what? TODAY I am the youngest I will ever be. TODAY I am the person who could intimidate the 70-year-old me. TODAY I need to embrace who I am TODAY. It's the only day we're given. I want my kids to remember the me who launched them into middle school, who played games with them, baked with them, explored with them, worked on projects with them, loved their dad, and sought the face of God alongside them.
So bribery it is. Shameless. How did I do it?
Well, I offered points toward a reward.
Points for taking the picture.
Points for being in the picture.
Points for learning how to use the camera on your iPod.
Lots of points.
Oh, some are more interested in cooperating than others.
But then, some are just so easily motivated to earn points!
And also, capture moments.
In this year's family photo book, no one will doubt that Mom was in the middle of the action.
Hey you out there! The one with the camera. Get in the picture.
And if you're the one
who said that to me
(The one I would have to find a way to hire if you lived near me?)
Thank you! From the bottom of my heart.