First up is a clean, simple collage of black and white photos documenting a handful of mommas from our playgroup braving a chilly 42-degree night to go Christmas shopping. I had a lot of fun editing these photos. i won’t reveal all of my tricks, but when you shoot manual on a point-and-shoot camera, you’re going to have a lot of misses. With my Photoshop skills I’m able to correct a lot of wonky-colored, underexposed, and otherwise useless images. This trip was pretty fun, but is mostly memorable for three things:
- My friend, Jessie, spraying herself in the eye with CKOne and all of the high school memories that came flooding back because of that wretched scent.
- Me, coming this close to paying $42 for a single pair of underwear for my husband. Luckily I came to my senses before committing the deed.
- And me, failing use appropriate caution when backing out of a parking space and slamming my rear bumper into some poor guy’s Corolla.
Yeah. I’m on a role with unforeseen expensive mishaps in the month of December. And yet somehow I was almost willing to pay forty-two dollars for a pair of underwear? What was I thinking?
This is one of those little moments that would never be captured, if I hadn’t taken on the task of bringing my camera everywhere in December. The small fender bender, the days without television, and the night-after-neverending-night of my daughter climbing out of her bed every hour from 1 AM on, were starting to get to me. Until this day, I had mostly maintained perspective. I’d remained present, tried to accept each day for what it was. But the bad was weighing on my heavily. I spent the entire previous night flogging myself over a dark spot on Lyra’s tooth that I mistook for a cavity (in the end it was probably a raisin skin that was stubborn). So, the last thing I wanted to do was drag myself to the store and pick up the final things I needed for the following day’s Christmas party, which had been a disappointing drama in and of itself.
But there I was in the store watching my husband—who knew I was reaching the end of my rope and had volunteered to go to the store with me minutes after getting home from work—crouch down and talk to my daughter in the gentle way he reserves for her. She is offscreen, and I don’t think he even noticed me squat down to take this. And in the hustle of the shopping trip, I didn’t really know what I had captured. But when I sat down to look at my images later, this one made my heart leap a bit. It made me smile. It made me grateful for not having to do any of this alone. It made me appreciate the mundanity of a grocery aisle and the absurdity of eating strawberries that somehow manage to grow upstate in December. It stopped my pity party long enough, for me to celebrate the life I’m living right now.