My two-year-old has a digital camera. It’s a kid’s point-n-shoot my husband found at a recycling center. And it’s perfect for him. It’s easy to operate and will survive a drop from three feet in the air.
Unlike with a film camera, Leigh can take endless amounts of photos on his digital one. Miss half a face in the frame? DELETE. Finger over the lens? DELETE. Snap a picture of pure darkness? DELETE. Yes, I wish he could learn how to take pictures on a film camera like I did in the good ol’ days. But at least I don’t have to pay to develop these pictures to see how they turn out. Although I’d like to print several of them so he can have a collection of his first masterpieces when he grows up.
He loves taking pictures. Leigh holds the camera up to his eyes, points at something and presses the button. He clicks the shutter with a squeal and laughs as the preview of the image he collected moments ago flashes across the screen. Sometimes he shows us the pictures, most times he quickly moves on to take the next photo.
It’s mind-opening to see life through his eyes. His toys, backseat of the car, mom reading a book, his dinner getting cold, mom on her cell phone, the dog, the door, mom eating her dinner before it gets cold, the glowing pumpkin sitting on the table, the tv show he’s not watching. I love getting a glimpse at what he finds interesting.
While we delete a lot of the blurry photos to make room for others, I try to pause and catalog the images he’s collected in my mind. It helps me remember he’s learning ALL THE TIME. His mind is like a sponge. If he sees me on my phone every other moment, that’s how he’s going to behave. If he sees me reading a book every night, that’s what he’ll want to do. Parenting is that simple, right?
Leigh sees me take photos every day. I ask him to smile and say cheese. I’d like to take credit for being the reason why he likes taking photos, and this is my blog, so I’m going to. He doesn’t want his photo taken every time I’d like, but the candid images I capture of him fascinated by the candle burning inside the pumpkin or focused on a watercolor painting are the raw moments every parent wants to remember the most. The moments of learning; of Leigh becoming who he is.
And every now and then, we take a selfie.