We just got back from the most amazing family vacation.
Gorgeous scenery, beautiful weather and loads and loads of quality time.
But I just realized one very big ‘thing’ was missing.
When I got home and went through my camera roll, I was shocked to realize I’d barely taken any.
Normally I’m the picture freak – snapping away every single moment, making sure to memorialize every smile, every laugh, every everything.
But this vacation was different.
My phone was away most of the time. Sometimes I even forgot to bring it with me.
A far cry from vacations past where it would live in my back pocket, always at the ready. A quick snap here. A quick snap there.
But not this time.
And you know what?
I didn’t even miss it.
Since starting the process of breaking up with my phone a few months ago, I’ve realized that by obsessively taking pictures, I wasn’t actually experiencing the moments.
It’s like I wasn’t even there.
I was viewing my kids’ childhoods through the lens of the camera on my iPhone. I wasn’t experiencing the joy and the laughter – I was watching it through a screen!
The worst part? When I thought back to previous vacations, my memories weren’t of playing and singing – they were of taking pictures! How messed up is that?!
So despite the fact that our family vacation was short on pictures, it was rich and vibrant in ways I cannot describe. When my boys sit on my lap, months or years from now, asking about that trip we took that one time, I won’t have much to show for it.
But I’ll be able to tell them.
I’ll tell them about how friendly they were to all the strangers they passed at the airport, waving and smiling at everyone we walked past.
I’ll tell them about how our taxi driver kept laughing when they asked over and over and over again – “Are we there yet, mommy?”
I’ll tell them about group hugs on the balcony before bedtime.
I’ll tell them about their shrieks of glee the first time, and every time after, they ran through the aquarium.
I’ll tell them about building roads and smashing castles in the sand.
I’ll tell them everything.
Because I was there. Fully and completely.
And I remember.