I am a hidden mom. My life with my children barely exists – in photographs. Their lives are beautifully captured by me with perfect lighting, amazing smiles, all their toys, their friends, cousins, and in gorgeous locations. Their lives are on display for the world to see. For me to see. For them to remember and laugh about. I’ve created for them a printed and digital copy of their lives. They will forever (or at least as long as they want them) have a key to all the memories that I have so eagerly wanted for them.
Memories that I may not remember one day. Or ones that they may forget. Ones that may be erased by our own memory.
If you have followed me for a while then you know we are “on the go”, “taking adventures”, “seeing the world”, and “living the dream”. Those are all quotes from conversations in passing with friends. Maybe. Maybe not. I just want my kids to grow up loving an adventure. Making snapshot memories. I want them to understand other cultures. I want them to understand other religions from their own. I want them to know that one’s culture, ethnicity, religion, and even zip code doesn’t make them more or less of a person.
So yes, dear friends, I do do those things.
But I do so hidden behind a black box with a mirror inside. The light perfectly reflects off of the mirror to capture the exact moment in time but I am not there.
I see these memories I am helping to create through a rubber piece – a view finder. I am there but hidden. I am there but not. I don’t see the moment as it is happening. I see it with one eye shut. I see it again when I tweak it in Photoshop or Lightroom and hit print. I see it again when I place it in an album or digital folder. I see it again when I share with social media and the small world I communicate with via this blog.
I am a hidden Mom…
I have pushed for all these trips – these travels – to simply make memories for my children and to help them grow. While I do this for them, I have lost myself as their mother along the way.
I have this fear that I will die and my kids will not have any memories of me. They will obviously have their memories of me, good or bad, but they will not have me. They will have their dad, the great man he is, in many times more photos than me. He will be the one pushing the bikes, making the s’mores, doing back flips on the trampoline, cannon balls into the pool, helping them read the map to the volcano we are hiking up, snorkeling with sea turtles, setting up the rv, or just being present. You see, I do all that with them too. However, I am not as “present” because their life needs to be “documented”. It needs to be frozen and printed on paper for the rest of their lives.
One day, my life with my kids will exist with me in front of the black box with a mirror inside.
I will not be a hidden mom.