Sunday, April 30, 2017

Take a Picture!

When I'm dead and gone and if my kids and their kids look through my collection of family photos they'll find hardly any picture with me in it. It will look as if I've been the absent mother or I've never been a part of their lives.

The truth is I've always been behind the camera making records of not only their milestones, and the important events in their lives but even the non-events which all eventually became memories... captured on film. And the sad truth is, as much as I had wanted to be in the pictures, nobody offered to take my place behind the lens. I remember having to set the timer in order to take a picture with Dottie and Sonny when they were little.

Old-style selfie

By then I had stopped asking Mr Hubby to take pictures of me with the kids. I knew what his response would be: I don't know how (to use the camera). It had always been like that... I don't know how.

Picture is blur and my head is missing!

On one occasion we were on a trip to the mountain. After taking several shots of the kids together with Mr Hubby, I handed the camera to him telling him to just point and shoot... no fiddling with anything, I said. The camera was ready: light, speed, distance. All he needed to do was hold the camera steady, look through the view-finder and gently press the shutter button. It was foolproof. Even a child could do it if he was strong enough to carry my ancient, 'heavy' camera. I'd have a good shot of me with the kids to keep in the family album, I thought.

Alas, it was not to be.

I knew what he had done only when I got the prints from the kedai gambar. He had turned the lens all the way until the kids and I were zoomed out into the distance. We appeared hardly bigger than ants. Dear reader, I had wanted a picture showing me with the kids against a background of mountains and greenery, not a picture of nature with tiny ants crawling on a rock. I was sad, disappointed and upset but there was nothing I could do except bit my tongue.

What can I say?

On another trip when the kids were a few years older, I asked him to take a picture of us and gave him the camera after making all the necessary adjustments. He took a picture and successfully put us into one corner while the rest of the photo was a whole jungle.

Now there's a grandkid, history is repeating itself. I've taken countless pictures of Mr Hubby with the kid, sometimes with him in the know, other times he was unaware and a few times he purposely planted himself in the pictures. But never once did he offer to take a picture of me with the kid or even thought that maybe I'd like to have a picture taken with my grand-daughter.

At the Zoo during a visit to KL

Sonny is one-year old

On the way to the Mountain

At Kinabalu Park

So the child will grow up to discover that while KungKung has been a big part of her childhood, Nana must have gone gallivanting, doing her own thing and didn't care enough to make time for her. Now that he owns a phone camera, it saddens me that I have to say: "Take a picture!" whenever there are 'picture-worthy' moments. And when he does take any photos, naturally, I'm never in them.

Apparently, many mothers are just like me... according to this article I read recently (which led me to think about my own situation.) They're missing from their kids' photos because of their husbands' apathy. So if you are a father and are guilty of not taking pictures of your wife with her kids, do something!

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