I photographed myself today. It sounds sort of strange, actually, but I set up a little photo shoot outside on my deck of me, myself, and I. I set the timer on the camera, propped the camera on a dirty cup left sitting on the coffee table outside, speculated and triangulated the focus, and then I snapped photos of myself. All sort of the same. Small smile. Looking at the lens. Hand on head or under chin but somewhere in the shot. I made myself the subject.
I guess in the internal solitude of myself I focus on me a lot. But by day and by camera angle, most of my attention is elsewhere for most of my life. And that's OK. I love being a mom. But in the midst of being Mom, there ceases to be photos of me. Because I'm always the one taking the pictures.
As I looked at the final product of my afternoon's photo shoot, I began to think about my mom. When I was little, my mom was the prettiest woman in the world. Her gorgeous long fingernails always shined with bright colors of polish. Her skin rivaled Mary Kay Ash with her creamy and smooth complexion. She collected high heeled shoes that I loved to slip my feet into. I lived for the day I could wear those shimmery L'eggs pantyhose and make my legs look just like my mom's.
I sat today and talked with my mom for a little while. I noticed her beautiful blue eyes again. I tried to convince her to start a blog to reveal the stories of motherhood from her point of view. She just smiled her pretty smile.
I printed one of my photos to hang on the wall of my bedroom. I plan to print one of my husband, too, and surround these two with other special photos of us as a couple. And as I looked at my photo, I wondered about my own children. What do they see, when they look at Mom? Am I the most beautiful woman in the world to my children? Am I the hero to them that my mom is to me? I look at my picture, and I see deepening wrinkles. I see a light splatter of freckles. I see the changing face of a woman approaching another birthday.
I see me.