I have often thought that life is like the lens of a camera. One that never stops rolling and never runs out of juice. The flash sparks, shutter snaps, moment upon moment, to create the flipbook of split second snapshots that tell the story of our years.
Candid camera. Capturing every body slam-bear hug, and each lip tremble. Document of sharp words and lullabies. There are moments we want to hold onto forever that somehow slip through with the sands of time. And, there are memories we’d like to erase that burn brightly three decades down the line. But, it’s all there on the film roll. Or the memory card?
We start and stop and stumble, flounder, fail—wait, up again, and triumph!
The camera keeps on rolling.
And we learn as we live (don’t we just) that it’s not the single frames that tell the story. It’s that flipbook journey, many moments culminating in big picture visions.
We could sit a million portraits. Have the man with the rattle call our child’s name until the eyes are forward and the tears stopped and the giggle bursts forth from toothless smile all dimples. We could wrap our arms around each other, just so, and bend the leg, and rearrange so that we’re all sitting right in the light deflected off the bounce card. We could do it every morning, try to mold the Hallmark moment, but it would just whip by in a flash.
Blip on the flipbook journey.
Why attempt to manufacture moments when every moment already is precious and fleeting—seared on the negative of time and yet flying by with the flip of the next frame?
Pose, clutch, covet, fret… Oh, sometimes. Yes, sometimes, I must confess, I do.
But a mother is not defined by a single frame. It is the flipbook journey of these lives all bumping breathless laughing tearful cheerful sleep sloppy love around on the canvas of our years that write the story of motherhood.
All I can do is frame it up, take the shot, and live it while it lasts and say with every page, “Thank you. Thank you for this grace.”