Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Camera Family

Today was Tilly's first proper bath in her bathtub, not just a wipe down with a wash cloth. And, much to my surprise, she loved it straight away. Perhaps it was the lovely warm water, or the little hammock that fits into the tub, or the fact that she was the centre of two people's attention... she just lay back and enjoyed looking out of the window.

And what I realised today, as I scrambled to find my camera, is that photos have come to be the biggest symbol of family for me. As the little battery symbol flashed "low" and I hurriedly dried my hands enough to use the camera, my heart was literally racing... what if I couldn't capture this moment on film? What if I couldn't send it to my family and share the joy of the moment with them? What if , when Tilly turns twenty-five and asks to see photos of her first bath, I have nothing to show her? Luckily, the battery held out just long enough, but it got me thinking about cameras and what they mean to me.

Ever since we started our 365 photo-a-day project back in February, I've felt so much more connected to my family. We remember to share things... the big things (goodness only knows how many people were waiting for the first photo of Tilly!), but also the little every day things: my Mum walking the dog, my Dad en route on a business trip, my brother making lasagne, my aunt's new table cloth. And I'm so grateful for that. You'd think that a family spread so widely around the globe --England, Texas, China-- would undoubtedly lose touch a little. But I really feel that the distance has inspired us to find ways to be connected, in a way that we probably wouldn't have been if we'd lived closer.

You should have seen us when my parents and sister were here visiting a few weeks ago... there must have been ten different cameras lying around between the phones, the digitals, and Alice's Polaroid and antique film camera! And on the last day, as they were leaving, the car suddenly stopped, and all three Duffies jumped out, cameras in their hands, and each of them took several photos of Justin, Tilly and me in the doorway...

... and it made us feel loved. And if I hadn't had a Tilly to hold, I'd have been taking a photo of them driving off!

We take photos of times and people and places we want to remember, and I want Tilly to be able to look back all the way to her first day of life and say, "People love me. People have always loved me. People have wanted to remember how I look every day of my life."

So, I'll be stocking up on batteries, and making sure there's a camera on hand for every moment.


J said...

and you'll be waiting ever so patiently for the Verizon iPhone...

Jadyn said...

LOVE this post!
What a beautiful family of three you make!
Your thoughts on photos actually makes me think about my family and that this idea of taking daily photos is something I might want to bring up with my parents and sister...Thanks for sharing this today! xo

Caitlyn and Chad said...

Where have I been? I just saw that you finally had her--and she's beautiful. I've really enjoyed reading all of your posts and catching up since she was born. This post is especially beautiful.

When I saw the first pictures of your new little girl, there were no signs of how much work it took for her to come out. She looked so pure and clean and lovely. Congratulations--you waited a long time for your little (big!) joy to come into the world.

Thank you for sharing that joy with us.

Loreal said...

Love the post! And the pictures! Glad you found something Tilly loves =)