For the last year, I haven’t printed any photos. And I have before me, Lucy’s “1st year” photo album, empty. So I have been spending hours every day uploading hundreds of photos, slowwwwly, to an online printer who offers matte prints. I can’t do W@llgreens, terrible quality and that super-glossy surface that showcases fingerprints, yuck. (Don’t touch the picture! Did you wash your hands first?!) I am uploading one month at a time and am only at June I think, and ready to throw in the towel. It has also been confirmed, what I have long suspected: Even though there are hundreds of pictures of Lucy and her dad, there are no photos of me and my baby girl. There are maybe…ten. That might be an exaggeration but relative to the total number of thousands of photos…there are basically ten. And most of them I took myself, either hand held or with a tripod and remote. How depressing. No candids at all, of her very early days. There are very posed, even though I was trying to capture us in our natural habitat.
After all, it is me who she spends about 11 hours a day with. And of course, up every hour all night. So most of the time it is just me and she, all up in each others faces, her on my boobs, and me wipin’ her hiney. It’s a close relationship. But she won’t remember any of this. And unfortunately, photographs write over history. They become the story, and our story isn’t being documented. There is no tangible evidence of the relationship we have, and it’s really only known to her and I. Hence… this blog, firstly. I want her to know what our life was like, and I will probably forget the details unless I document them. Second, my husband *must* become more loose and clicky with the camera. I tried to convince him of this before she was born, but now a year has passed and it’s getting crucial. Maybe he felt pressured to take fancy photos with the good camera, but at this point I don’t care if they are cell phone pictures.
Thirdly, I plan to set up a stationary camera in the common area of the house, focus on infinity, and keep a remote on hand. One photo a day, at least. Of her on my lap. Her eating. Her being a goof. Her looking at the front door when she hears dad unlocking it. Just… our life. It will seem mundane at first. Everything does. But mundane slowly ticks towards Precious, Timeless, Nostalgic, one day at a time. Someday I will write a whole post on the things I wish had been photographed from my childhood, that are lost forever from my memory.
I made excuses in my mind, why not to make a bigger effort to take my own photo with her. I look so tired. My eyes are bright red and bloodshot, every day. I have aged 5 years. My hair looks like a caveman. I am still in my pajamas. I look…battered, worn, dare I say: really unhealthy and sadly, unfit. Might as well just snap her alone, she is so much cuter, no need to drag cavemommy into the frame. That is all completely true, I have sifted through thousands of photos, and all of the ones of me in the last year, my eyes are red and glassy and often squinty. But that doesn’t matter, that’s the reality of the situation, and I suppose it needs to be documented. I am attempting to post every photo here that I can find of her and I and the mundane. To tilt the balance closer to reality.
Every once in awhile, someone will take our photo. This one was taken by my dad, although I actually had to ask him to take it, it wasn’t unprompted. This is her 1 year birthday, at the bunkhouse in Michigan. This is a sliver, not even as big as a pine needle, of our life together so far.