We take photographs to remember. We look back on times and remember the vacation at the beach, the Christmas we got our first bike, baby’s first taste of cake, and so on. Photos serve as a means to joggle events back into our memory, but it’s what happens between the camera shots that are more important. That is where the real memories are made.
Pictures only tell half of the story. Things look pretty and ideal against a picturesque backdrop when smiles were forced.
When you look at this picture you may see bright eyed, smiling children who were dressed in their Easter best. That’s what I see too, but that’s not what I remember. I remember a frustrated momma who was feeling impatient, rushed, and a bit angry. Not exactly the joy you would expect to have the morning of celebrating your Savior’s resurrection.
There are many moments in our lives that when we look back at pictures we see one thing, but we remember another.
We try to create a portfolio of memories through our pictures. We say “cheese” and do the obligatory pose, but what happens after the shutter closes. I don’t want pictures to tell one story but my memory to tell another.
I want to practice kindness to my family, show love daily, and apologize when necessary. All of our moments won’t be picture perfect. That’s OK. Those are the real moments when memories are created.
We strive hard to put our life into pretty frames for ourselves and others. We share our best photos on Instagram and Facebook and sit by counting how many people “like” it. The reality is none of that matters. It’s the memories we’re making when the camera is put away that last.
I try hard and want desperately to create good memories for my children. I put experiences in place and set the conditions for good memories to be formed, but I ultimately can’t control what they will remember about their childhood and my parenting. I simply can do my best and ask for grace when I’m lacking.
Do your pictures and memories tell two different stories?