I love this picture for so many reasons. My daughter and I went on her field trip to the fair this morning and because she’s not quite tall enough, I joined her on the bumper car. At seven, she already adores her friends and chooses, more often than not, to spend the night out or have a play date, rather than hang with her mama. Today I was needed and I jumped at the chance. I pushed the far away pedal and she did the steering. I pulled out my phone to take a picture. The picture.
How many moments have I missed because I didn’t want to be in the picture? Sure, I was there on the sidelines and have many documented moments of the children gathered together in interesting places but my role has been invisible far too often. To this day I enjoy the pictures of my own childhood and I find there are just a few with my own mother. Each one that I have though, brings with it a rich memory. I wish there were more.
I want my daughter to remember the times we did fun things and that I was on the field, not behind the lens. I want her to grow up and be like the mom she fondly remembers in the picture. The mom who really didn’t want to go to the fair again. The mom who had been ready to go for well over an hour. The mom who shared a whole bag of cotton candy. The mom who gave 110% to win a stuffed animal playing skee ball but didn’t win. The mom who took off her sunglasses and shared her wrinkles and scars and freckles and too tan skin and not clean hair. The mom who wore her Special Olympics t-shirt proudly even though she fought back tears when she got dressed this morning.
As I look at this picture from today, I choose joy. I see a mama that is loving the moment and has had a wonderful 41 years, nearly eleven as a mother. I feel overwhelmed with the life I have been gifted. Blessings beyond my imagination yet the road has not been without its’ obstacles; losing a brother to cancer long ago and navigating life as a special needs family have been my hardest trials. The mom in that picture kept trekking though and has nothing to hide. I hope I will see her more often.