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Why I Am A Bad Mom - I Am A Paparazzo

In case you didn't know, "paparazzo" is the singular of "paparazzi." I did not know that until I looked it up to make sure I was using the right word for my title.

As any mom does, I love posed pictures of my son. We sent out a holiday card this year with a great shot of my son and dog sitting nicely together in a wooded area. It is beautiful, and it captures a certain something about my guy, but it feels staged, because it is. My favorite pictures of my guy are the ones where he is being undeniably him. He is a goofy, smart, fast, energetic ball of life, so most of those images are blurry. His mischievous smile shines even in the staged photos, but I love catching him in the act that causes the smile later.

Because of my fondness for action shots, my ninja skills are on the rise. I can sneak up behind him for a kid's eye view of the activity. I will hide behind plants, around corners, under a blanket to capture him in action. I will blatantly lie and say I'm not taking a picture of him and quickly turn the camera to take a selfie. If I had a periscope, or some mission impossible style rappelling equipment, it would up my game, but I'm content with where I am for now.

I get told often that my guy is very photogenic, and he is. I get complimented on having so many good pictures of him, but that is only because I'm willing to take a lot (and I mean A LOT) of bad ones to get that perfect shot. I cannot even begin to calculate how many bad pictures I delete for the one or two that I keep. But I don't always hide behind a phone (I rarely use a camera anymore), sometimes I'm more happy to hold a moment in my mind, than a picture I can keep. And often the context of the situation and the humor from my guy is lost in a photo, but amazing to remember.

The other side of all the pictures I take is how few I post to social media. I post on my personal pages to keep in touch with family and friends who are all over the world, but for the last few years, I've asked permission before I share any image of the little man. He gets final say in what is shown to his adoring public, and sometimes I don't get to put a picture I love out where I can brag on him. I think personal identity is important, and if he decides one day that he doesn't want his pictures out for people to see, then I will take them all down. But I will still have my photo albums at home to remind me of who and how he once was.

In an age where you can find pages upon pages of instruction on how to take the perfect selfie, my favorite pictures to see online are the ones of people living. If you are existing just to have the perfect shot of your face on every social media platform, you have fun with that, I'm going to be out exploring and trying new things with my guy and documenting as we succeed and fail. I might even share with you.

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