Here’s a parenting side effect that no one talks about: the photos.
Oh my gosh, you guys. The photos.
Let’s not discuss that I have an entire cloud storage account devoted to the 10,000 or so pictures that I took of Bear’s first year alone.
Let’s not discuss the 400 videos I took of his first year.
Let’s not even begin to discuss all the times my phone has run out of storage and the countless hours I’ve spent deleting shots of my shoes or my lunch or whatever it takes to make room for his goofy little smile or videos of him toddling shakily around our house.
Instead, let’s talk about what gets lost in the minute-by-minute photo-documentation of life that we’re all guilty of. You know what gets lost? The highlights.
Those special moments get drowned into the hundreds of photos on Instagram, the thousands in “the cloud” that never get looked at again.
When I was growing up, my mom painstakingly saved every snapshot, organized into boxes that lined our closets. She labeled the back of each one with “Katy Birthday 1989” or “Emily Halloween October 1992” so she always knew where to find them. Things are a little easier these days — I can hit “Ctrl+F” and find all my photos from November 2014, or log in to Facebook to see what I’ve saved. But sometimes I get jealous of the limits that came with storing physical photos — you couldn’t take 10,000 shots, because where would they go? Now they go nowhere, and so we take them all.
But sometimes, you want a moment that’s a little more special. The incredibly talented Kate shot these of me and Bear a few weeks ago, and it was a great reminder that sometimes it’s better to pick quality over quantity. I’ve been insanely busy lately, and sometimes I worry that a week or two has gone by undocumented (gasp!) and I get concerned that I’ve missed some special moment without capturing it in digital form. But then I look at photos like this and I try to remember: sometimes one beautiful moment, perfectly captured, is better than 10,000 shots that I’ll never look at again. In an ideal world, I’d do both. But when the days are too short, I try to remind myself that it’s ok to just live my life instead of documenting it.
Even if, at the end of the day, what gets saved are a few snapshots and a lot of memories.
Loren Hope necklace, Maggy London dress, GiGi New York clutch, Jimmy Choo heels.
Photo Credit: Kate Robinson Photography