Feeling croppy. And not in a scrapbooking kind of way.

I’m talking about the THOUSANDS of pictures I have of my children...which I adore...but I can’t find a single one of me. Normally I wouldn't think much of it (and may even be a little relieved), but right now I’m scrambling to include a profile picture with the writings I’m submitting. I’ve come to the realization that not only can I count the number of pictures I’m in on one hand (out of the thousands), but my go-to pictures when I need them are the ones that I have cropped.

I’m pretty sure it started right after childbirth when I didn’t want to be photographed because I was overtired, overweight (and no longer pregnant) and feeling nothing like myself. And then the focus continues to be on the infant, then baby, then toddler, then preschooler, then sports and it goes on. Until one day I realize that all those years I spent dodging the camera or being the one behind it means my kids will have little to no record of my existence. I sure hope the memories I’m creating for them will last, because it’s not going to be in print. And while I would have thought it narcissistic in the past to want to be in countless pictures, I am realizing now that it is actually a wonderful gift to give my children. Even when I’m having a bad hair day. Because, really, isn’t it fun and amusing to look back on pictures of YOUR parents when you were little? And have you seen the reaction of your little ones when they see what Grandma and Grandpa looked like way back when? From now on I won’t be afraid to ask strangers to take my picture with my kids, won’t shy away from a camera pointed my direction (even if I’m in my bathing suit or am sans make up), and promise to always smile graciously rather than duck away.

But in the mean time, I’m relegated to my own limited photography skills for my self portrait (yes, that’s me holding my camera out in front). What struck me, though, was that as I looked around at other mom’s profile pictures, I noticed that most of their pictures resemble mine. Isn’t is ironic (and a little sad) that the one person who is probably most influential in their children’s lives is the one person that is missing in pictures? My kids are gonna hate it, but that’s going to change for me. Starting...right...NOW.

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