One of my worst fears as a mother, besides the one about doing the whole thing wrong and ruining my kids, is that I’m not documenting life the way I’m “supposed to.”  The main reason for this fear is that I seem to do so much less than other moms I know in this area.  I’m often at a school event and look around and think, “Oh, we were supposed to bring video cameras today?”  I secretly hope that someday one of my children comes to me and says, “Mom, my friends’ parents have all saddled them with 20 heavy leatherbound scrapbooks.  Thanks for almost always forgetting your camera.”

Perhaps I could borrow a page from my tweenage children’s playbook and say that it isn’t my fault.  After all, I’ve never been able to document things without a baby or toddler on one arm — very hard to take decent pictures, right?  Also, we’ve never bought a really fabulous camera, as you’ll see below.

I spent the last two mornings at our children’s school for celebrations of Chilean Independence Day.  I wish you could have been there, because it was festive and lovely.  And I wish Matt had been here and not in Brazil.  And I wish the charger for our video camera wasn’t broken, because I would’ve at least tried to tape the dances our boys were in.  (Each grade learned a poem, a song (in Spanish) and a folk dance — pretty impressive.)  And I wish the batteries in my camera had been fresher.  And I wish that I knew how to set my point-and-shoot to work for the conditions I was in.  Or that I had a better camera.  But none of those things would’ve mattered because I spent the entire time, two mornings in a row, chasing Thomas up and down the gymnasium.  The boy will not be contained.

Here’s what I got:

Sam’s dances came from Easter Island, and some of the boys got to carry LIT tiki torches — super cool if you’re in 7th grade, don’t you think?  Those last pictures definitely illustrate my frustration and inadequacy.  I haven’t captured the event at all.  The people sitting around me today were completely charmed by Thomas, though, including a bunch of rowdy teenage boys who couldn’t take their eyes off him.  So that was fun.

What I’m wondering is, do I ask for a DSLR for Christmas, so I can feel even more guilty for not taking more pictures?  But maybe the ones I do take will be better?  Do I just need to learn the functions on my point and shoot better?  And while I’m asking for advice, does anyone know what constitutes a proper gift for a Bat Mitzvah?  Any ideas how I can get myself to stop eating so much chocolate?  Does someone want to fly down here and help me pick out some patio furniture?


5 thoughts on “suggestions?

  1. Katy

    I have one of those nice cameras, but I still can’t get fabulous pictures in low light. I also take literally thousands of pictures, but have very few viewable outside my computer. I still have guilt that I am not doing enough, and this summer I have made a point of just sitting back and enjoying the moment and not worrying about capturing the moment.

    As far as the Bat Mitzah, we gave Karin’s good friend book’s because that’s what she likes, as well as money in multiples of 18 (which is apparently good luck). The gift shouldn’t be taken to synagogue, but to the party after wards.

  2. Sarah

    Doug got me sort of a baseline DSLR camera a couple of years ago from Costco. I absolutely love it, but I still use my point and shoot a lot. Batteries do make a difference. Right from the start I got better pictures with the big camera, but then I took an online course, and now I just understand things way better. I don’t think you should ever feel guilty though. With all those other moms there taking pictures, there are bound to be some of your kinds! Besides, sometimes I think people are so involved in filming, that they don’t actually “see” what’s going on.

  3. Christina

    I like my DSLR but I don’t take it to events when I’m going alone with the kids. It’s too much to manage the kids and try to take pictures. I think I would take more pictures if I had a better, smaller point & shoot.

    I don’t think you should worry, I don’t feel like I have scrapbooks from my childhood and I don’t really care! But I’m not super-sentimental about things like that.

    I’d love to come to help pick out patio furniture – it sounds like such a cool place. And then I could eat all of your chocolate too!

  4. Nettie

    Almost 2 years ago I bought a Cannon Rebel DSLR and really the photos I take from it are amazing BUT I find myself hardly using it because it’s so big and hard to pack around on trips and what not. Awesome camera- awesome price at Costco.


    I just recently bought a Cannon PowerShot SD 1400 point and shoot camera and it totally ROCKS (helps that it comes in orange- my favorite color). But seriously. . . great zoom, awesome pixel count, fun features (we spent an afternoon just taking pictures with the fish eye effect and totally laughing). I like it a lot and it’s small so I just keep it in my purse with a spare battery so I always have it on hand.

  5. Vicki Lambert

    I think you are doing a great job documenting your children’s lives. Just think of all the cool photos and narratives you have put on your blog!! Your writing is very witty and delightful.


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