Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Picture I Didn't Take

You know I am not shy when it comes to picture-taking and picture-posting.  It helps that my kids are so gosh darn cute, but it's also about capturing the moment for posterity.  I love going back and looking at pics, because (stating the obvious) they represent moments that don't exist anymore - kids only age in one direction, and so pictures freeze a period in their life that I will never see but for the photos.

And yet every once in a while, I don't take the picture.  Strangely, these are the very moments I want to remember the most.  And yet, there's something so precious about these moments that I don't want to ruin them by pulling out my phone.  Instead, I want to watch, with just my naked eyes, and take in the beauty and simplicity of what I'm seeing, in the hopes that the memory itself will be far better this way than any picture I could attempt to take.  Thankfully, I am always right.

Last night was one of those moments.  Aaron and I dropped Jada off at ballet, grabbed a bite at a pizza parlor around the corner, and then came back to ballet to pick Jada up.  We were a few minutes late, so practice was still going.  Beautiful music was pouring out of the sound system, and there was my little girl, all in pink, spinning and leaping and grinning and bending.  She was, somehow, both all grown up and yet innocent and sweet and tiny. 

I never once thought to take my phone out to take a picture.  I think that not only was thinking what I wrote above - that I would prefer to capture the memory than snap a photo - but I was also thinking that I somehow wanted to freeze Jada at this wonderful age, when she is pure and lovely and childish.  I think I was also thinking that she is a beautiful dancer - it had been awhile since I had seen her dance, and now she is more sure of her body, her lines are right on, and there is a fluidity about her movements that she didn't have before.

I practically teared up watching her.  It really was a beautiful sight to see.  And  then, within seconds, the music stopped, the teacher offered some encouragements, and she was scampering towards me to get a big hug.  I told her how beautiful she is and how good a dancer she has become.  I am sure I will remember what I saw for the rest of my life.  I hope she will remember these moments, too.
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