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Step Away from the Camera

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If you’re like many moms this holiday season, you’re likely filling memory card after memory card with snapshots from the things your children are doing. From trimming the tree to opening the presents, Christmas baking to Christmas morning, you take pictures of everything—and that’s awesome. In future years, you’ll love having those memories, love sharing them with your kids, and love looking back on what it was like.

Every once in a while, however, put the camera down.

Sure, it hurts. Sure, your fingers are itching to pick it up again.

Put it down anyway.

“But wait!” you argue. “Look at that perfect smile! Look at the way the kids are sharing! Look at how sweet they’re being with each other!”

You’re right. It is a wonderful moment.

Go be part of it.

Encourage that smile not by flashing bright lights at it, but by continuing whatever brought it on to begin with. Scoop your toddler up off of the floor and share that book with them instead of taking a dozen pictures of them looking at it (though you can, of course, do both!). Cuddle up and watch that movie with them. Get down in the floor and play with them.

Be a part of the moment, not just an observer.

It’s an easy habit to get into, isn’t it? Moms are so often behind the scenes, taking care of whatever needs doing from a distance for little recognition. There are few opportunities in a mom’s day to actually dive in and just enjoy an activity—unless you make them.

Let the dishes wait. Let the laundry wait. Put down the camera and live in these moments. After all, they won’t last forever. Someday, you’ll blink, and they’ll be gone.

Yes, those pictures are unbelievably precious; and with digital photography, you can safely take as many as you like—but they aren’t the most precious thing.

The most precious thing is the moments you’re making.

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