Today I went to a museum with my kids and my in-laws. And about halfway through the drive there, I realized I forgot my camera. Thankfully, my in-laws remembered theirs, but without my own camera, I felt like I was walking into the museum naked.
I take a lot of pictures. My memory is terrible, and I need the tangible memories provided by a photograph. Thanks to the invention of the digital camera, I’ve been known to take 50 pictures just to capture a single moment. I figure I can always go through them later and edit and crop and pick the best one. I have neatly organized folders of photos on my computer and clearly labeled photo boxes and albums. I am one of Snapfish’s best customers, and if you asked me to find a picture that was taken on a specific date of a specific year within the past 20 years, I could locate it within minutes.
I love that I have these pictures, but sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out on living in the moment. I’m so busy snapping pictures that I see the world through the eyes of a camera instead of through my own. And sometimes I wonder if my obsession with capturing the moment for posterity is actually a hindrance to the enjoyment of whatever we’re doing. How many times have I asked the kids to wait before opening a Christmas present so I could position myself in the perfect angle for a picture? How many times have I posed the kids for the “perfect” picture instead of just letting them create their own perfect picture?
So I’m thankful that I forgot to bring my camera to the museum today. I know that if I had had it, I would have been taking pictures of my kids petting an owl instead of really watching their faces. I would have been juggling my huge Nikon on my shoulder instead of lifting my daughter up to see the animals. I would have been capturing the fun instead of living it.
And I love that I lived that fun today.