Picture Perfect


It’s out of focus, the picture on this blissful evening with my boy. Not in my mind though. In here it’s as sharp as it will ever be. Because next time it will have faded around the edges as I struggle to remember just how his hand felt in mine.

I shouldn’t have used the fill flash. I should have realized the sun is always the perfect bright.

My scarf is blocking my face, my eyes are closed too much, I can’t see his whole profile.

And it’s perfect.

The image may not be, but the moment is. The moment is perfect because we’re there together, my boy and me. I can hear him call,

“Quick Mama!”

as I set the timer on the camera. I rush to his side and his arm wrapped around me and his hand grasped mine. I couldn’t help but look at him and smile. And he did the same.

Pictures don’t need to be perfect — only real. Because someday it will be all we have, and perfect will never represent the real life and heart of someone we love.

When I think about pictures of me I’ve come to realize I want something back that is more than beautiful.

I want eyes wrinkled around the edges, my head back and my mouth open far too much.

I want bodies blurred in motion.

I want the bike on the ground, tear on the cheek and clutching of a knee.

I want my head tilted, face placid and eyes closed in deep sleep.

I want little feet dirty from the day.

I want wind-blown hair in all the wrong ways and squinty eyes from looking to the sun.

I want it all. Because it’s all real. And I want to embrace what is real rather than strive for what is not.


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