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Monday, October 7, 2013

"Remembery" Card

I'm the one with the camera.


Whether it's my "big camera" (a Canon) or my phone and "Addictagram" (Instagram), I'm always taking pictures. I used to scrapbook more, and have the room full of supplies to prove it, but I still love capturing memories, from the major (birthdays, vacations) to the mundane (hey look, there's a frog in the pool!)

Except yesterday. Hubby and I took the princess over to Thorncrag, a local bird sanctuary, for a walk on the trails. Viv has ben learning about leaves in pre-K, and wanted to collect some colorful ones to share with her class. I didn't feel like carrying my camera, and the battery on my phone was running low so I left in the truck to charge. We go to Thorncrag all the time, I thought. I won't need to take pictures this time.

We walked through the quiet woods (well, as quiet as they can be with a rambunctious 4 year old who has two volumes: loud and deafening) and pointed out the things we were seeing to each other: a cool tree, a colorful leaf, some mushrooms sprouting from the base of the tree. Dave taught Viv how to make a whistle from an acorn cap, how to determine the wind direction by licking her finger and holding it up.

And I was fine without my camera.

And then we got to the Old Homestead. For those unfamiliar with Thorncrag, it's an open field with some old foundations -- presumably a home and a barn. There's a bench for resting, and surrounded by trees and fields, it's easy to sit there and imagine what life was like 100, 200 years ago.

We sat on the bench, and suddenly, we were silent. The only sound we could hear were the leaves falling in the trees around us, the gentle rustle of the branches above. Suddenly, from one of the trails, another couple burst came into view.

"Family photo!" the man shouted. "That would be a great picture!"

My heart sank. The one time I don't bring my camera.

My daughter, who has had just about every day of her existence documented in some form, must have sensed my regret.

"It's okay, mama," she said. "I have my camera." She started digging through her princess backpack, which she insisted on bringing to carry her water bottle and two Barbies. She found a pair of Little Mermaid sunglasses and handed them to me.

"But these are sunglasses," I said, not sure what she was thinking.

"No mama," she said. "They are a camera. Put them on, and you can take pictures."

I shrugged, and put on the sunglasses. Viv pointed to my forehead. "That's where the remembery card goes."

So yeah, I got a little teary. She was right. That is where my "remembery" card is. As much as I would have loved to have a great family photo of that moment in the forest, I have the memory of that day. In 10, 12 years when the last thing she will want to do is go for a walk with her parents and collect colorful leaves, I'll have the memory of the time when everything in the forest was magical, when mushrooms might be houses for fairies, and something exciting was around every bend in the trail.

I'll have my "remembery" card.

      My girl and I from a different hike this summer.

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