I put chocolate chips on my shopping list a few weeks ago. It was my intention to make them with Ephraim, who is seriously interested in helping in the kitchen right now.
Yesterday, while the younger boys napped, we got started. I measured out ingredients for him to pour into the mixer, one by one. (next time I’ll let him take on that part, too). He broke the eggs into the mixture, and we only lost one tiny piece of eggshell which I couldn’t dig out.
I had wanted to take pictures of the whole thing, mostly because I very rarely am able to get pictures of my firstborn at all, but I needed to closely supervise the process and really didn’t have a chance to take the camera out. I figured that was OK, that there would be more cookie-making in the future, and that I could document then.
There is a dogma circulating the parenting world that we are too quick to document, instagram, photograph or what-have-you a moment that we should instead just sit back and soak in, enjoy. I disagree with this hypothesis. Of course, as the cliche goes, there must be a balance–but there have been many, many moments that I reached for my camera but hesitated, and decided to “soak in the moment” instead, and do you know what happened? I forgot it. I remember the decision not to document, but that’s all I can recall of that fleeting experience.
Of course, let us be wise; let us not allow our children to go their whole lives seeing us only behind a phone or camera. But I have never looked at a photograph a week, month, year after it was taken and thought, “Man, I wish I hadn’t taken the time to take that picture.” Instead, I almost always am surprised at how much I have forgotten. My days here fly by like the tornados that Ephraim is currently obsessed with.
So I missed the making of the cookies, but today when we sat down to enjoy them, I photographed it. Not much–I only took these pictures before sitting down and having a cookie myself. But I wanted to remember it–being able to compliment Ephraim on a job well done. His serving his two brothers their cookies before sitting down to receive one himself. Anselm wearing almost as much cookie as he got in his mouth. Clive thinking he is smiling for the camera when he actually isn’t. Today they were 4, 3, and eighteen months. Today is almost gone. This memory will remain.