I am sure that many mums of my generation hate having their photos taken, after all we are no long the beautiful, young, fit and skinny women we were in our early twenties. I am now probably nearly a stone heavier, carrying laughter lines around my eyes, my brunette locks are now shot with silver and grey and my chin has multiplied.
Then I read this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/mom-pictures-with-kids_b_1926073.html
And I thought oh!
When I think of my mother, I am filled with nostalgia of my childhood, I remember balmy days of blue skies, walks in the woods, carpets of bluebells, knickerbocker glories, climbing hills, rock hopping across beaches and rivers. I can almost smell cakes baking, dinners roasting and strawberry jam bubbling, I can hear her whispering her pride or words of encouragement when I needed them. I see her spending time with my children, making them laugh and making them feel loved.
I have a few photos of her through the years and when I look at them I don't notice her size, laughter lines or the grey hair. I smile because the photo brings back a memory, a memory of a holiday, a family event or just a time in my life where we were together. I guess a as a child, photos were taken on film and all of them had to be developed so the photos were kept. Nowadays with digital cameras and phones we can delete our photos with ease so those pictures which we mums have not avoided can be so easily deleted. If I avoid all those photo opportunities will my children remember our happy times, I am sure they will but a memory is a sepia version of reality, a photo can bring technicolor, it's something to touch, to keep. It helps tell a story to those around is. When my mum reaches the end of her time with us, (many, many years from now I hope) I will still have the photographs to remind me of so much that has happened throughout my life, I will be able to share them with my children and grandchildren, they tell the story of where we come from and may well tell us where we can go. But, if I avoid the camera am I denying them memories of colour? All because of how I now view myself. If I ask my husband he will tell me that I am still, if not more beautiful than the day he married me.
From today, I will no longer avoid having my photo taken, I won't seek the camera out but if someone wishes to take a picture I will smile, laugh and enjoy the moment reminding myself that the picture isn't about me but about a memory.