I didn’t take a picture. Part of me wanted to document the moments, to catch the smiles on camera. But I also wanted to be in on the excitement, not an outsider looking through a lens.
The children sorted all the ornaments on the living room floor while Steven wrangled the lights onto the tree. Then one by one, each ornament got lifted and hung on a branch. The new picks this year: A Scooby Doo ornament for Ephraim and a gingerbread church for Madeleine. Such fitting choices that reflect each child – Ephraim’s inexhaustible quest for fun, Madeleine’s steady appreciation of beauty. The one moment I would have captured: my daughter’s ecstatic face when she got to put the angel on the top of the tree!
But there was no flash. No hum of the camera focusing. Just a focusing of the heart, like a telescope bringing my children’s souls closer to me, exposing every joy, every fear. The images that string together to make a life.
Already I feel like the days and weeks pass too quickly, that my 6-year-old has already passed through one third of her time with us, that I sometimes let what could be loving moments drop to the floor and smash in my impatience.
Frame: A mother and a father, a son and a daughter. A warm living room lit with Christmas lights. Peace in their small world tonight.