I recently saw an ad for the new GoPro camera. I’ll link the advertisement to the bottom of the page. It was a really good commercial. One of the lines was “Don’t stop what you’re doing to capture what you’re doing.” This new camera will take a picture or video on command. So you don’t have to click any buttons or be behind the camera for it to work. So many times we want to capture a moment, but we miss the moment in the process because we’re be behind glass and plastic.

I thought about this advertisement as I was getting ready for bed last night. I have been working for probably 3 or 4 hours on a shutterfly book of Olson for his first year. Why I thought I could condense 1,000 photos to 100 I’ll never know, but I’ve been trying nonetheless. It seems like every picture I took was the most important picture in the world. And I didn’t want to delete it.

You know what makes getting an album finished even harder? A one year old who is teething, a picky eater, and loves climbing under tables/ in cabinets/ in closets/ behind the end table where there are cobwebs and dust three inches deep. I can’t hold him for too long because he gets antsy and starts reaching for…I don’t even know what. Sometimes he’s literally just reaching with hopes that there will be something he can grab. It’s usually air. But he cries when I put him down. I distract him with toys and he takes the bait. For 3 minutes. Then he’s pulling all the post it notes off my desk and I’m pretty sure he’s digested at least two of them. He gets mad that I don’t consider paper a proper lunch. So I find him a little fig bar and hand it to him. Forgetting that the crumbs are going to be all over my living room. I clean some crumbs but by this time he’s crawling down the stairs and I don’t feel like standing there watching him as he goes up and down and up and down and…(sigh). I just. want. to. finish. this. dumb. photo. album. I take him into his room where the “fun” toys are. I get the WHOLE nativity set down off the shelf. Not just Mary and Joseph and not just a couple farm animals. The whole scene of the birth of our Lord and Savior is laid out on my child’s floor to play with. I leave the room for 2.4 seconds to get a toy that was left in my room earlier, and I hear him yell out in terror. I look back in the room to find him perfectly well, but perfectly ticked off that I left the room. SERIOUSLY OLSON?! Why do you need me in here? You have the whole Bethlehem posse here! There is even a SINGING angel on top of the manger scene to serenade you with “Away in a Manger” up to 2975890 times!

Well, they left out an important character in the Fisher Price nativity set. Olson’s mommy. I laid down on my tummy in complete defeat. My to do list today was miles long and I don’t know that I crossed anything off. But I did see to it that the goat and the sheep in the stable had a good chat. And Olson took the wise men and made them head butt a few times.

I’ve looked through hundreds of pictures of Olson as an infant. And I remember and love those images and those moments so well because I forced myself to be in the moment. To stare at his face until I had memorized his little eye lashes and his hair line and his tiny chin. I suppose tonight I realized that this idea of being “in the moment” is one that I’ll have to reinforce for the rest of my life. Maybe it’ll get easier, but with more developments in technology I’m not altogether sure that it will. There will be new apps, new forms of social media and different outlets to share images. Olson will get older and we’ll discover his talents and want him to use them. We’ll want pictures and videos of the first time he sings a song, hits a baseball or wins a spelling bee. How hard will it be then to simply absorb those moments to the fullest and not hide behind the lenses and wonder what my caption should say when I post the picture?

My baby is not a picture. He’s a little human that needs mommy to play with him. And not just wait around for a good photo opp. Unless you put a bag over your head, and Olson thinks it’s hilarious. Then of course you need to take a picture.

Join me in trying to be more “in the moment” this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving all!