When Jessica was five, I bundled up two-year-old Belinda and the stroller and the diaper bag and some snacks and my wallet and my keys and headed to Sandpiper Shores Elementary for the Kindergarten Circus! The only thing in the house I didn’t pack, was the camera.
We had purchased a shiny purple leotard, tights, and purple bows to complete her acrobat ensemble. That morning had involved special curling to make the long pigtails. She had practiced her somersaults and was in fine form. All was ready.
As Belinda and I settled ourselves for the epic performance, I reached down to grab the camera to recored the blesses event. In horror, I realized that the camera was missing.
A typical family even included Sam shooting video and me snapping still photographs. Capturing every event on film in order to “make memories” is what good parents do. But here I was, flying solo, without a single camera to call my own. And this was back in the “olden days” before there were cell phones that fit in purses — let alone cell phones with cameras.
I struggled with what to do. Should I quickly run home to get the camera — and risk missing the performance all togehter? Should I run to the office and call Sam at the university and ask him to drive home, get the camera, and try to make it to the school before the big moment?
Finally, I calmed myself and tried to be rational. Would I really be a bad mother if I just watched my daughter and cheered for her?
I sat back on my folding chair, smiled at Belinda, and watched the greatest show on earth. It was tremendous and I probably remember it more vividly than most performances I’ve ever seen.
No, the camera has not been abandoned. Just last night Monica was singing in Night on Broadway at the Scera theater and I was holding the trusty camera during her fabulous rendition of “Part of Your World.” But I do think it was pointing at the ceiling about half the time, because watching was more important then filming.
Still, that day I determined that I wanted to spend more time making memories with my family than capturing and memorializing them. I want to spend my life wearing myself out doing things —Â not sitting in a rocker looking longingly at a scrapbook about the past.