Let me tell you a story from our trip to Hawaii in November. While at the Polynesian Cultural Center I met up with a friend from high school and her family. Two days prior to that meet up we didn’t even know the other was going to be on vacation at the same time, let alone at the same spot on the same island at the same time. But that is not the most amazing part! At the end of the luau at the end of that amazing day, we concluded we should have a photo of both of our families together before we parted ways. As we gathered our children I caught an employee of the luau and asked if she would mind taking our photo.
I knew she would oblige. People generally do, and my experience with Polynesians has been that they are consistently warm and friendly people. As I asked her my question I interrupted myself. “I know you!”
Sure enough, when I had worked at PCC nearly 20 years earlier, I had worked with her. Would we have reconnected had I not asked her to take a photo of our families? Certainly not. It was such an amazing, fortuitous reunion.
I’m not great at asking favours of people, let along people I don’t know. But it’s something I had recently committed to improving. For photos, at least. Especially since I resolved to include myself in the documentation of our family photos. While I don’t meet long lost friends every time, I have never had a negative experience with this minor request.
I’ve got plenty of photos of my husband playing the part of Awesome Single Dad taking his kids to fun places. He is awesome, but he’s not single. However, since I’m the one taking the photos how would anyone know otherwise? And our posterity? When they peruse the family albums what will they know of me? My annual appearance in the Christmas card?
Proof of Mom is not my own concept, rather it’s one I first encountered on the instagram page of Busy Toddler. In her blog post she lays it out clearly. I’m certain I was not the only one in her audience who needed to hear this message, and I am amplifying it to all of you here.
As many of you know, last summer I presented a bit of a manifesto about taking more photos in general. Or rather, taking the important photos even if they are not convenient. I haven’t always followed through but by in large I’m pleased with my attempts and will continue. Proof of Mom photos do often require talking to a stranger, but they’re less awkward than convincing reluctant family members to allow you to take a photo.
You need to be in photos with your family! You were there too!
So take a selfie with your kids. (The boys do not approve of stopping in the middle of the street so this was definitely not the time to grab a stranger.)
You can take an awkward family selfie, but if your family is big or if you really want to incorporate the landscape, that gets tricky.
(Yes, we have a selfie stick. Somehow we have three of them. We never remember to take them with us when we are adventuring, however. And we are even worse at angling it correctly. I guess we should add “learn how to use selfie stick” to our list of resolutions.)
Ask a random stranger to take a photo. (Ask for a few. And try not to be like me, talking or making weird faces in every single one of them.)
Do whatever it takes to get in the photo. You’ll be glad you did.
Make this the year you put yourself in the photo. You are a part of your family!