Exactly how things changed. I remember when you were a child, excitedly begging for mommy to take pictures of you doing pretty much every single thing. What Family Photos Should Capture. Whenever you saw photographs of yourself, you would always smile, wide-eyed, and ask me to take more. Those years were filled with albums upon albums of you in your pigtails. I took snapshots of you swimming, dancing, swinging, singing, playing, and smiling so big, with your eyes lit up, full of childhood innocence and pure joy in simply being you.
Oh, how you loved the camera. You liked the attention, you loved to see yourself documented in dramatic poses, capturing funny faces wearing princess dresses, lipstick covering half your face, two different clip-on earrings dangling, and a tiara crooked on your head.
You believed you were a superstar, pushing your little brother out of the way so that you could bask in the spotlight. My gosh, it was fun. For much of these last few years, I have no photographs documenting countless moments that should have been captured, because you politely refused. There are particular rules for taking photos of teens, this I have learned. And although I understand your need for self-preservation and protection, your inability to see the beauty I see, and the unrealistic qualifications you place on what is deemed photo-worthy , I want you to understand something.
You see, I still want to capture that little girl, now grown and beautiful and soaring into adulthood. I want to freeze these moments to save forever. I need to have something tangible to mark these extraordinary events you experience because they are the stepping stones on your timeline, they are laying the foundation of your life, they are the intrinsic details that reflect who you are becoming. You may only see it as a picture you will scrutinize, squinting your eyes and enlarging the photo to examine every pixel portrayed, concluding it needs to be deleted for a variety of reasons; all of which I disagree.
When did you place it there? When did you develop such a high reach? I miss my little girl. The liberated child who loved herself with no conditions, no comparisons, no expectations. There are those rare times you smile when looking at a photo of yourself, and I see acceptance, even happiness.
You nod and agree that one particular image is good. I view the clarity in your eyes, the confidence in your posture, and joy fills me. I long for more of those moments, the ones you see what I see. The ones where you believe you are worthy of feeling beautiful , of feeling secure in your skin. Sometimes, I get your permission to share a picture of you on social media. I want the world to see you.
Sometimes I want every single person I know to celebrate this cherished moment with me. I want to record your beauty, your heart, your accomplishments, your talents, all the changes that are occurring within you. I want to document the road you are on, leading to all the open roads to come. And I want to stare at these rare images, these glorious moments over and over again because they are passing by too quickly.
They are slipping out of my grasp, and so are you. These years are very different than the years before. But I need you to know that I will always want to capture every moment I can with you because I believe you are worthy of documenting how extraordinary you are.
And someday, when you scan through old photographs and glance at each one with a smile, as you recall the memory and you re-live the moment, you might just realize it too. Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe. Skip to Main Content. Get Your Teen Magazine in your inbox! Sign Up. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email.