I am never really in the photos because I am behind the camera.
And also because I am super critical of myself in photos.
I am pretty sure almost everyone in the world looks at a photo of themselves & can point to a handful of perceived flaws. I KNOW I can. I have this mental idea of what I look like, & it's me, circa 2000. I have gained a lot of weight, a little height, a ton of smiles & heartaches, a marriage, a miscarriage, a baby, two years of mamahood, a second pregnancy, countless jobs & classes, & numerous miscellaneous life experiences since then. I don't look like the person I was then, because I am not the same person.
I get that.
I also know that I am beautiful in many ways. I hear it a lot, & I try hard to see it. Mostly, I want to seek it in myself so I can teach Rue to find her own beauty much more easily than I can find my own.
Today, I wore a simple outfit that made me feel beautiful, so I spontaneously (& maybe rather frighteningly) suggested (demanded) a spur-of-the-moment photoshoot in our backyard this evening.
You know your husband loves you when you hand him a camera & say, "we're going outside, now, & you're going to take some pictures of me, while I still think I look kinda cute!"
Tag, you're it.
He's a trouper.
So out we went, to play in the yard & get some photos. And I am still a bit critical of how I look in them, but I am glad we took them. One day, Rue is going to be grown up. She is going to possibly get engaged, & then married, & then have babies (or some order of those things, or some of those things, or maybe none of those things, I don't know how she will want to live her life), & she may come to me & ask to see photos of me when I was pregnant, or look at our wedding photos, or whatever. I know I hounded my mom for pictures of all the life events I hit, so it makes sense to me that Rue would maybe do the same. I want to be able to hand over those images. These images. I want to give them to her without embarrassment or preamble & let her take what she needs from them.
Because while I may see the weight I am already gaining & the eyes that squint a bit more than I'd like, she may see a happy photograph of her mama carrying her little brother or sister, & it may be a beautiful image to her. And I want to give her that, so that she is confident to capture her own memories & milestones for her future & for her Self.