I love photography and have a gorgeous camera. One year, when my oldest son was finishing 1st grade, I think, I made a photo book as an "end of the year gift" for his teacher. It came out great. Everyone loved it...parents ended-up ordering soft-cover copies for themselves, as a way to remember their child's school year, through pictures of field trips, classroom events and student portraits. So, guess what? I put one together the next year...for both boys' classes, since my little guy had also entered the elementary school by then. Next year...again...and, now, it's sort of expected.
It's a lot of $%&% effort.
Every year I ask myself: "Why am I doing this??!!"
This year especially. I have been working my tail off, stocking-up on stories before the juggle-fest of summer vacation. We have a new puppy. There was not a lot of time to make the Class Books. But, I had to, right? Us moms find a way.
Well, I pulled two "Almost All-Nighters"...got them done...with only one typo. I'll take it. Thanks to rush-shipping, they made it here - literally - on the last day of school. They look awesome.
Projects done: by the skin of my teeth. Sigh...success.
Once I lowered the tense shoulders and got some sleep, I realized something. I don't continue this tradition because of others' expectations...I do it because of my own expectations. For all of the complaining and stressing, I enjoy the process...savoring my sons' precious school experiences, each photo at a time.
They aren't going to be young much longer. There will come a time when me and my camera will not be invited on field trips and into the classrooms. Exhausted or not, I cherish it.
Flipping through the pages and looking at the Halloween costumes, the joy over watching butterflies hatch and the first visit to the State Capitol make it all worth it.
I adore this stage of my boys' lives...my life...and I'm so glad it's recorded.