I received a parcel in the mail the other day. A thoughtful gift from a friend saying hi, and passing on to me a book she thought I might like. Perfect timing really, because I had just been considering buying that very book, that very day.
Anyway, included in the parcel was a photo she had found. I think, from recollection, it was a birthday party we went to. Lots of photos were being taken, and someone convinced us to have a family shot.
I know I wasn’t keen. It was just a few weeks after Ava was born, and because of the ten weeks of bed rest I had had during the pregnancy, and some shocking fluid retention, I was at my heaviest weight. Not the sort of look you want for a photo, if you’re anything like me.
Afterwards, when I saw the photo, I cringed. I looked uncomfortable and, to my eyes, chubby. I hated my hair and everything I was wearing. I did NOT want a copy of that photo.
But I got one. The other day, in my letter box. With a book I now don’t have to buy, and a beautiful card I wasn’t expecting.
The first thing I saw, was the weight. I was bigger then, there’s no denying it.
I cringed a little. I didn’t like it.
Then I saw the rest of the photo.
The chubby little faces of my kids.
The cheesy grins.
The brand new baby.
And I was suddenly SO glad I had that photo.
That was our family. That is our family. All those little faces that have lost so much of their chubbiness, are the faces of our little people.
Wonderful, amazing people who grow more wonderful and amazing each day.
And suddenly, I stopped caring about my size in the pic. Like seriously, who cares? I had just had a baby, and I gone through a pretty hellish ordeal to do so. It was a wonder I could sit upright and smile, however awkwardly it might have been.
What does matter, is that we have that moment. That little snapshot of time with all of us together. Possibly our first full family photo. And I was in it.
I am in it.
Last month Maxabella wrote a blog post encouraging us all to get in the picture with our kids. I liked the idea, but haven’t done it. It just seemed like not the biggest priority.
Now however, in light of a photo I once hated, I’m thinking differently. It’s one thing to look back on pics of the kids and marvel at how they change; it’s another to look back and think ‘I was there. And there’s a photo to prove it.’
So I guess the moral of the story is this: don’t stress about how you look in any given pic. Don’t delete them because you’re having a bad hair day, or edit the pic to make you prettier. One day that photo you hate might actually be part of the story that you love. An amazing story, with wonderful people who love you, and never see the things that make you cringe.
Who just see you as you see them.
Worthy of being in the picture.