I know it’s not popular in the mainstream to look back, reflect, and regret. But I believe in regret. Not to weigh yourself down with the burden of past mistakes, but to feel sorry for something and genuinely wish you could do it differently if you had the chance. I believe in regret because it’s how we arrive at turning points. It’s how we decide to live our lives differently…better. It’s how we grow.
I can honestly say I have a lot of regrets. If I could, I would tell my sister I’m so sorry I made her cry when I was younger just because hurting her made me feel better for a moment. I would tell her Ishouldn’t have teased her about her singing that time in the car. The truth is she had a beautiful voice. It was a small annoyance that every jingle on the radio had to be an opportunity for her performance (I’m picturing her laughing at that right now), but I shouldn’t have made that snide comment that one time. I know it hurt her. And I regret it.
I regret not doing more to profess my faith to Nana and Grandpa when they were more lucid. I am trying to make up for that now, but they get lost in the conversation quickly. I know my Nana has battled feeling unloved – a battle with depression that no amount of human attention from her loving family seems to be able to touch. I had years of opportunities at the kitchen table with Nana to tell her how very much God loves and treasures her. I didn’t. And I regret it.
I have a long list of regrets, but the point isn’t to wallow. The point is to learn from it, and do better.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking for pictures of Cam. I realized that I had spent so much time behind the camera for clients this summer that I was too exhausted to bring out the camera just for fun and posterity. I started to panic as I opened folder after folder from May…June…July…only to see pictures of other people’s families. At the end of an exhausting tear-filled hour scouring my computer for images – for my own version of time in a bottle – I realized I had only a handful of Cam and only a few from my favorite age: three to four months–that Baby Moment right after the newborn stage when they’re still peaceful but their little personality is starting to wake up. How had I let all that time just fly by?
I cried with regret and a feeling of loss. And vowed to do better.
The next day I took out my camera and started experimenting with my new Speedlight. He’s nine months old now so he was all over the place.
Luckily, we do have a lot of great video clips from all those months with the kids. And while I don’t have as many moments in images that I wish I did, he’s still a baby, with lots of changing and growing to do.
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The other day I found an instant-gratification sewing project that fit perfectly into the 20 minutes I had available to use my sewing machine: DIY Baby Legs! I cleared a spot in Cam’s room and managed to capture a quick shot. The image is a little soft because I literally took it with my camera Upside Down in the nano-second before he scooted off. It’s soft. Oh well. It’s him and I love it.
(sigh) To think they’ll all scoot off one day…