Dear Baby Girl,
I want you to know that pictures are not evil things and are not things to be shyed away from.
Yes, I know that pictures can be annoying. And yes, I know that you are human, and a female, and, therefore, there will be times and moments in your life when you won’t like the way you look. That’s actually rather normal, Baby Girl, and not something to be afraid or ashamed of. But trust me, you are and will always be beautiful and, years from now, when a person has passed away or moved to another country, or when you try in vain to remember what a face looked like from a long over friendship, you will be very extremely grateful to have pictures.
I used to avoid cameras at all costs. As a result, there are not many pictures of me for a few years and, as a rule, very few pictures of me and your Grandaddy (both because I avoided them and because he was usually the one taking them). After Grandaddy passed away, I realized how few pictures I had of the precious memories I had of him and I would give anything to be able to go back and capture those moments for a lifetime.
There are no pictures of me and your cousin Brett after we were about six. Again, when he was gone, all I could think was the could-have and should-have taken pictures over the years, the ones where both he and I ran away from the camera or covered out faces to the point where out parents stopped because we “didn’t do pictures”. But I wish we had, because there are moments I have trouble pulling his face from my memories, and more trouble seeing the two of us actually together in the same place.
This makes me sad.
For the first bit of your life, there were very few pictures of you and me. I was always the one behind the camera because I hated pictures. Then PawPaw got a bit upset, called your Daddy, and told him he better take a picture of baby and Mommy, or PawPaw was going to get extremely upset (namely cause MawMaw would get upset with him). Now, there are pictures. I might not always look perfect, my hair might be mussed, my clothes askew or I might have dark circles under my eyes, but I’m there, in the picture, with you, and that’s really all that matters. Because it means that at some point down the road, when you need it, you will have tangible proof that your Mommy loves you.
Cameras and pictures, no matter what anyone says (including me) or what anyone does, are not evil incarnate and actually are wonderful for holding onto memories in a more lasting and special way.