I have long been a fan of photography. I’m sure I owe my parents more money for Kodak disks than anything else in my childhood. This is “film” in a disk form which popped right into my camera – which often held only one printable picture (if that) but of course that was back in the days that you had to develop and print all of the shots before you got a chance to see them, and that was after waiting a couple of weeks for them to arrive in the mail. Kids today don’t know how easy they’ve got it for selfies: instant gratification or instant retake.
It’s true, I’ve had a camera within arm’s reach for as long as I can remember. And yet, I don’t recall my parents ever complaining about my needing more film, more disks, or more pictures printed. All I ever remember is sitting with them pouring over the shots and laughing over the memories represented in those frames, and of course my dad’s advice (all so true as I look back): Make sure you write down the names and places. I know you think you’ll remember forever, but just to be sure, take the time to do it now while you still know everything about the shot.
Fast forward a few decades and I am still pouring over photos looking for just the perfect shot to portray exactly what I’m thinking and feeling. Being the one behind the camera means there really aren’t so many pictures which include me. For the most part, I am completely fine with that. However, when it comes to looking over the history of my kids’ lives, I do want to be in there somewhere at least a time or two. Enter the creative talents and quick thinking friends. Thankfully, I have a few of those.
Last night, I was reflecting over the last couple of weekends and the t-ball games we played. Ben had a really great one, a really rough one, and two in between. We all have good days and bad days, but because of the nature of the disorder, his struggles are often loud enough that all around are aware of the challenge at hand. While we’d rather not make a spectacle of ourselves, especially amidst a struggle, we’ve had to become okay with that. Ben deals with situations just like everyone else – in the best way he possibly can. That doesn’t necessarily mean he handles them in the same manner, but he does the best he can. Sometimes, that is slower than others, and louder than others, but he gets through it.
I strolled through my facebook newsfeed while thinking through last night’s games when I came across a picture another t-ball parent happened to take during the game.
Ben was the second to the last batter in our lineup, followed by his little sister. Being the last batter means you get to run all the way home: it’s a guaranteed home run! But the rule remains, you can’t pass the runner in front of you.
So while I was chiding our Ben with a playful “I’m gonna get you!” to keep him running, we were also trying to outrun his little sister and telling her, “Run fast, but don’t pass Ben!” Whew! What a lot of messages to get in every few steps! All of this with more giggles that you would ever think possible. These are the moments I figure will be sketched in my memory forever, and likely only there as how would we ever get a picture like that? And then I saw what my new friend, Libby, posted. This picture, I wish you could see it. There is nothing not perfect about it. My absolute favorite part is the giggly eye contact shared between me and my boy. It just doesn’t get any better than that, unless of course you add his smiling little sister just a step behind and their awesome coach of a daddy right behind her.
I began to think, “If only every at bat could be so easy and fun for our guy.” I’m ashamed to admit that I had fallen for the “if only’s.” “If only” this or “if only” that, life would be better. No. Just no. I cannot let myself fall for those lies. We have been blessed by this incredible little boy and the opportunity to raise him. The only “if only” is that of “If only everyone knew him the way we do, they would see the incredible little guy he is. They are missing out.”
A very wise friend commented, “God gives special children to those he knows will love and care for them.” What precious words. Thank you, Cathy. That was just the kick I needed.
Then I came across another graphic with no source listed, but full of wisdom for all. Yes, wisdom gained on a stroll through facebook! Here it is:
Life is like a camera.
1. Focus on what’s important.
2. Capture the good times.
3. Develop from the negatives.
4. And if things don’t work out, just take another shot.
(Photo props to the amazing Libby Rogers)