Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My camera broke but that's ok. Sort of.

Between my camera breaking yesterday and looking through all the years pictures I'm getting a bit nostalgic for the recently past and all the events of my life.

There are so many things that I love about the holidays and December. Of course there are plenty of things I don't like too, but right now let's focus on the good. Like I said, there are so many things that I love about the holidays. It's a time of year when I force myself to look back on the year. I am mostly doing that because I am trying to find just the right photo of my kids. Of course one of the kids often has a silly smirk or is poking her brother and pinching his sister, but that's all in love right? But honestly, I stop for a little while and reflect of the year as a whole and realize just as the cold winter blues are starting to set in, just how blessed I am, and just how amazing our life is.

Of course there are the ups and downs and struggles, etc... but I like to take pictures. Probably too many pictures sometimes. But I was trained through grueling post-Thanksgiving photo taking sessions before the age of digital cameras when photos could be viewed, shared and instantly emailed to the person sitting next to you. The photo sessions involved all of us lined up. With the matriarch and patriarch in the middle. The youngest ones sitting closest to the oldest and the middle generations stuck on the edge. Mostly the then middle generation, was on the edge as they were the ones running back and forth to the cameras that are now thought to be from the middle ages. (Remember when you had to advance the camera's film manually to the next frame for the camera to work.) But ahh yes, the memories, even with out actually seeing the photos from the different Thanksgiving. Every year the pictures look the same. Altering the living room depending on which aunt hosted and sometimes a special showing by one of my mom's boyfriends or a cousin that lived across the country. We were all so close then generally. It was an anomally for one someone not to show. Now, I think of all my cousins and we cover every US time zone, and then include that Canadian one that comes before EST way out there in the Atlantic.

But I regress...

Christmas also forces me to look through all my photos from the year and see all the great things I have experienced with my kids. Trust me, there aren't smiles in all these pictures. Of course it's always more fun to take pictures when there is a happy crowd, but we have plenty of healthy fits documented on my digital memory. Some get erased, others are used for blackmail. That's what family is about right? Forgive, forget, or blackmail... oh I'm not sure.

But this year also leads me to be nostalgic of the Christmas's past and the traditions I had, the ones I am desperately trying to recreate for my kids, the ones I can't ignore, the ones I must have ignored because I just can't recall them (what happened in 1990, the slate is blank...) and the one I'm living right now. Of course when you pick up your life and move across the country to what might as well be another country one gets nostalgic for things not here. That happens.

Again, I regress.

I am grateful. I am blessed. I am crazy, but I'm happy. I am struggling but I am living. I have the most amazing kids and fabulous husband. We are not perfect, but I love them and the life we are living. Day to day I may lose my mind, but on the whole, I wouldn't have it any other way.

And then of course we have all the moments in between that no camera is ever present. How is it I don't stop to take a picture of Tigo building his Legos. I'm not documenting the event that occurs as ritual every morning noon and night. Finished products sometimes, but Legos are such a work in progress we don't have finished products much. There is a lot of "look at what it is now" and "what do you think it needs more?"

There's not a camera at the school drop off in the morning where I kiss the kids good by and secretly want to hold them a few more minutes everyday even as I fight to tell them how important it is to be on time to school.

There's not a camera when I tuck them into bed at night or sit on the floor reading Harry Potter to them as they beg for one more chapter even though it's an hour past their bedtime.

And there is certainly not a camera when Azalea screams when she sees a cockroach, but I know it's a memory she will remember.

I guess there are the events and the traditions or just daily rituals and they are all wonderful and all sacred.

And I am so blessed to have it all.