In general, I tend to take a LOT of photos. Just to give you an idea, from Nov 2008 to Nov 2009, I have about 10,000 photos stored on my hard drive. I think that I am afraid I won't remember these precious days with Gavin, the smiles and giggles and soft, sweet toes. I already can barely remember what it was like just a few months ago, much less a year ago. I remember what Gavin looked like back then and I remember the tenderness I felt toward him, but it isn't the same as the actual being with him, holding him, playing with him. Photos are nice, but video is better. I do have small video-clips of him at several ages and stages and would like to compile them all into a movie some day... you know, in my spare time. It's just impossible to capture the moments in my mind and heart in a way that I can revisit them. I wish that I could literally flip back a few pages in life and literally experience the feelings I have had at certain moments. I'd like to hold Gavin for the first time again. I'd like to watch him take his first steps again. I'd like to see him scoot backwards when he was trying to crawl forward. So, I take pictures. It's as close as I can come.
Recently I have been trying to take fewer photos and just enjoy the moments instead. When something special, remarkable, or adorable happens, I normally run for my camera, sometimes missing the moment entirely because I was so focused on getting a picture of it. Sometimes I put so much emphasis on getting a good photo, that Gavin loses interest in what he was doing, and my interest in getting the picture overshadows my interest in him, in what he's doing. So, for the most part, I'm no longer carrying the camera in my pocket everywhere I go. I may be missing some good photo ops, but I hope that my memory is capturing the heart of the moment, even if I can't see it on paper (or computer screen).
Unfortunately, this also means that I do miss some photos that I sure wish I had captrured. I don't know if a still photo would have done this justice, perhaps video would have been needed, but it was a moment (or two) that I surely will not forget for a while.
Cliff was gone fishing up north last week and Gavin didn't adjust too well to having Daddy gone. Gavin didn't ask about Cliff, but I tried to be concious of how his absence may affect Gavin and spent a little more time snuggling and playing and put off any housework until after Gavin was asleep at night. Of course, Gavin didn't understand why Daddy wasn't around or where he was, and he surely couldn't count how many days Daddy had been away, but by Saturday, he just wasn't quite himself and was having more tantrums and "marshmallow meltdowns" (as Cliff calls them) than normal. We had a 40th birthday party to attend on Sunday for my two sisters and Cliff met us there on his way home from the fishing trip. Here's how excited Gavin was to see his Daddy. Two of Gavin's favorite things in life are Grandma and fruit, particularly watermelon, grapes, and berries. He was sitting on Grandma's lap out on my sister's back deck and had just popped a big strawberry into his mouth when Cliff came through out the back door of my sister's house. Gavin spit the strawberry right out and practically lept off Grandma's lap kicking and giggling, throwing his head back with a big grin on his face and climbed right into Daddy's arms. It was the sweetest thing ever. Especially sweet since he had been in a bit of an anti-Daddy phase for the past couple of weeks prior to Cliff going on the trip. My heart just melted. I wish I could have captured that excitement, that big smile, those kicking legs to watch over and over and over again.
Later the same afternoon Cliff and Gavin were sharing a piece of ice cream cake. It was 90 degrees outside and we had Gavin in his diaper and an unbuttoned short-sleeved shirt. He was on Cliff's lap, his mouth covered in chocolate ice cream. Gavin didn't mind that it was 90 degrees and he was only half dressed. He was in 7th heaven on Daddy's lap, his lips sticky with ice cream. He smiled. Cliff smiled. They were a sight to be seen, a sight to be remembered.
Wish I'd had my camera!