My Dearest Jeffrey,
I have to admit to you that I have yet to print a single picture of you, my first-born, the light of my life, my baby boy. Yes, Jeffrey, if love is measure in pictures, your mom is unfit. I apologize.
I don’t want you to think that you are unloved. No, this could not be further from the truth. It’s not that I haven’t taken any pictures, just haven’t gotten around to getting them printed and sent to adoring relatives and friends.
To be honest, the whole capturing and documenting of your young life is a daunting and serious task, one which has me completely paralyzed with anxiety under its hulking weight. Missing a milestone has become my greatest fear, lest you believe one day that I did not care enough to bring a camera. (Your Aunt Mindy has required years of therapy related to the absence of any documentation of her earliest years.)
No, my son, I have the camera and, as of today, I have hundreds of photos saved in the digital realm, just waiting for me to send them out to be printed.
Herein lies my dilemma…
You are now four months old. I’m way past the expiration date for sending a birth announcement as I had originally planned. At this point, I might as well wait a bit longer and send out a card with your driver’s license photo with the caption, “Time just goes by so fast.”
I’ve now become obsessed with taking the “perfect” shot; like you in a cabbage suit, or dressed up like a bumblebee, or your face in a pea pod. Hell, I’d even settle for a shot where you’re not crying, or moving, or flipping your bib over your head so I can’t see an inch of your sweet face.
I think often of your Uncle Matt in my moments of ineptitude. He comes strapped to every function like he’s about to set out on a safari for National Geographic. He’d surely mock me and my feeble attempts at capturing you with the camera on my phone. He’s got a telephoto lens. Clearly he loves his children more.
Jeffrey, last night was the breaking point. You had just gotten out of the tub, your hair like the down on a fuzzy, little duckling; your dimple on full display, so big I could eat cereal out of it. I mean, you were wearing a shirt that said “HAPPY” on the front for God’s sake. The moment was NOW!
I grab the camera and suddenly the mood changes, a black cloud rolls over my belly laughing, baby boy. I put the camera down, and out comes the sunshine. You spite me. You make me your fool. You say to me, “Mom, put down that G-D camera and love me.” Point taken.
Jeffrey, you may not have the Anne Geddes coffee table book of your firsts. You’re more likely to have albums full of shaking images or pictures of my feet, but know this– Every blurry photo represents a moment in time where we were both too happy to stand still.
Remember, you are loved.
You can always ask your Uncle Matt for the photos of your youth, and….
Aunt Mindy will pay for therapy.