We went out to Cracker Barrel for dinner tonight. It is one of my favorite home-style cookin' joints. I love their chicken 'n dumplins (that's how we say it down South - those endin' Gs are for the prissy britches set!). Well, actually I only love the dumplins part. They are just like the ones Mom made -- another of the recipes lost after her death. Their red beans (ok - pinto beans if you just want to get all technical about it) are as close to Mom's as I've ever tasted, too. And, sorry, Mom, but their biscuits kick your biscuits' floury white little butts. All that food stuff is great, but the most fun part is the walk I take down memory lane as I wander through the gift shop. So many of the toys and candies take me waaaaay back. Back to the days when I thought my mommy would always be in the picture.
As in most families, Mom was the shutterbug: always behind the camera, rarely in front because she didn't like having her picture taken. As a result, I have loads of pictures of me, me and Dad, me and various boyfriends, me and pets. What I don't have is any pictures of me and my mom.
When I got old enough to grab the camera I started stealing candid shots of her whenever I could sneak up unobserved. But, again, those times were rare. When I the boys came along we would take turns taking pictures - again one of us was always behind the camera. When she was gone I went in search of photos to show the kids. What I didn't find broke my heart -- there were no pictures of me with mom.
How about you? When was the last time you got in FRONT of the camera? When was the last time you had a picture taken of just you and each of your children alone. Ever? What are the things you want them to remember about you? Do you sew? Crochet? Paint? Garden? Do you have any pictures of yourself doing those things? How about your parents? Do you have photos of you alone with each of them? Who are your friends? Do you have pictures of yourself with them? They will need to remember, too.
As moms, we want to give our children the very best of everything, but so often we unwittingly shortchange them on tangible memories of US. So here's your first challenge: Go buy a bunch of disposable cameras and give one to each of your kids. (Put their names on them to avoid confusion!) Then encourage them to take pictures of each other, you, the family. (You might want to specify no nasty or rude or embarrassing butt shots!) When you get them developed you'll get a great idea of what interests them. You might also get to see yourself through their eyes.
Your second challenge is to make a vow right now to hand that camera off to your husband every now and then. Having memories of you through his eyes is another great gift for your kids.
This Celine Dion song, so beautifully presented by nataliedg, tells the story in this mother's heart. I know it is a song that you sing, too. Please don't let your Coulds slip away into sad Should Haves before it's too late.
If I Could
Peace, Blessings, and SAY CHEESE!