Being present vs. Constantly documenting

Earlier this week, I packed up my kiddos, my car, and headed north to South Haven, Michigan, one of our 'spots' that we visit each year as a family. Confession: I had to force myself to only bring my camera with me on two outings on this trip. I love to take picture of EVERYTHING (obviously) and as a parent/photographer documenting every moment seems like a pretty obvious thing to do (especially with our social media-obsessed world.) But with all the things going on in life sometimes we forget to take some important pictures. I'm not just talking about the milestone moments, but of the REAL LIFE MOMENTS. The little tiny toes and feet, when they are acting goofy, engrossed in playfulness, and pictures of them with every person that has ever met them (Kidding! Kind of. Not really.) . 

While taking pictures is a great way to capture memories, I try to remind myself not to get so preoccupied with capturing the moment that I myself forget to experience it. Sometimes you just have to let your mind record what is happening. Taking a moment to observe all the sights, sounds and smells. I feel like this is good for me as a human, but also as a mother, because I am then allowing myself to be quiet and present with my sons and the things that I have brought them to experience. There is something so bittersweet about these moments. The knowledge that they will only be little a very short while and the constant battle to preserve it, knowing that no matter what I do, time will march on, they will grow,  And these memories that I hold on to so dearly will be just that--memories. 

I hope my children can remember these trips with a sense of magic and wonder. We built a massive sandcastle today. I got to teach two tiny humans to fill their bucket with water to wet the sand and pack the buckets full of wet sand to make a mold. Repeat x 100. The three of us fell asleep on the beach today with our arms draped around each other, bellies full of chips and salsa and the sound of the waves crashing just a few feet away. I watched T sing songs to bugs and I watched F chase away any gulls that dared come near our precious picnic blanket. 

Is it cheating that I have this blog? So that even if I put down the camera, I can still write about it? Because I selfishly, obsessively need to document my boys. I have to remember these moments. I see my babies growing, I am watching it happen every day. The tiny voices fade, the baby fat gets stretched over their growing, slender bodies, they become to heavy to carry for long. I have felt nothing quite as tender as the love I feel for my sons. I will always, always cherish this place and the memories it has for me. Till next time....

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these!  What are your favorite vacation spots? Please leave questions in the comments or feel free to contact me at Gretchen@hernameisgretchen.com