Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A little perspective, please?

This morning I set out to find a few pictures of myself that showed a little perspective on the issue of my height. What is it about the way I present myself that makes everyone think I am tall?

I wonder (and this is deep) if you will somehow think I am "less than," now that you know you tower over me? (You know I'm kidding!)

A thorough inspection of three years' worth of digital pictures underscored a familiar problem I encountered when trying to find a decent picture of myself for my profile photo (I was NOT about to get the 19 boxes of 35mm beauties out from under the bed!). I'll have you know, I looked long and hard for that one, and if you look closely, you will see that I had to carefully cut FIVE children out of it just to find one in which my eyes were not closed.

(Even then, by the way, my daughter informs me that this photo makes my eyes look "evil" when it's shrunk on a comment. Aren't you just dying for your kids to become preteens so you, too, can know everything others are thinking about you, but are too polite to tell you?). I can't win for losing.

I would replace it (or at least Photoshop the eyes), if only I could find another.

Which brings me back to the problem: I do not exist.

Well, at least not in the photo history of our family. To look through our photo albums (or through the boxes under the bed, as it were), one might be convinced our children raised themselves.

We have thousands of baby pictures - pics of the first time their eyes are open, cute little bods in the bathtub, eating their first cereal, sucking thumbs and - my favorite - sleeping.

The big kids have commandeered the camera to take hundreds of pictures of each other. Most of them are hilariously distorted self-portraits that, amazingly, portray a true depiction of their experiences as kids (shown here with a cousin, on right).

Of course, Dad is in all the fun pictures. I may have orchestrated this event, but he gets to shine for all of posterity to remember what a cool dad he was (okay, he WAS playing tickle with them-- and he WAS cool -- even before I shot this one!).

I, on the other hand, am in only a handful of pictures. Of those, I don't think I'm in any of them by myself. At least five of them will perpetuate the memory of me with 40 pounds of pregnancy weight plus 500 gallons of IV fluids, hunkered down on a hospital bed, smiling wrenchingly, waiting for the nurse to bring a fresh ice pack.

The vast majority of my pictures are in the postpartum stage (which encompasses ten of the last thirteen years). I am the backdrop for the cute baby - complete with all of the above issues, with the added bonus of sleep deprivation and bad hair (from sleeping with a pillow over my head). I'll spare showing you those.

The remainder of the pictures of me are pathetic, posed "family shots," like this one my mom insisted on taking last fall of all of us together. Could we look any more like a nervous group of criminals in a police lineup?

But there you have it - I'm next to my 6-foot-tall brother, and I am in heels - that's me in the black. (Look down on me if you will, but remember, what I lack in height, I make up for in BOSSINESS.)

At least it proves I was there.

Oh, but there is one picture. This is one of my favorite pictures of my life as a mother.

I need to assign the kids to be my paparazzi and catch a few more moments like this - for posterity's sake.

Just in case there's ever any doubt I existed.


Beck said...

I have the same "Where am I?" problem when I look through the photo albums at my house. The problem here is twofold:
1. I take most of the pictures
2. When my poor husband DOES take my picture I shriek and erase it because it's not flattering.
I've made my 7 year old daughter my Official Photographer. She's pretty good at it, and when I look at her, I smile.
(And no, I do not think "less" of you because you're shorter than I though! You're the same height as my mom. It's a GOOD height.)

Wendy said...

Katherine, I LOVE that last picture! How sweet! You should definitely have your kids take more pictures of you. I have the same problem here. I am always the one with the camera or video camera and usually not in the photos, most days I am glad I wasn't on film, but it would be nice for everyone to remember I was there too.
Nothing wrong w/being short..I am 5'3 1/2 (gotta hold on to the half!)

Blackeyedsue said...

I will confess. The reason I thought you were tall is that you look surprisingly like my husband's aunt. She is at least six feet tall. That is why I thought you were that tall.

Its funny how we perceive what the others look like. I assume everyone in blogland is 5'8" because that is what I am.

I definately don't think you are "less than." I am just jealous that you can find pants that aren't floods.

Michelle- This One's for the Girls said...

Oh I love that last picture too. In fact, I must be an emotional basketcase because it made me tear up. I just love mom/baby pictures and I finally had a professional one made with me and baby #5.

Give your husband the camera!!!!

Lori said...

Beautiful pictures. You are a beautiful lady. My mother in law and I have an unwritten pack. I take pictures of her with her grandchildren and she catchs me in some of the pictures with my family. So we can actually prove we exist =))

Christine said...

I LOVE that last picture. I have so few pictures of myself either alone (no big loss) or with the kids (that makes me sad) that I'm afraid when they're grown they'll wonder where I was all this time! I'm always the one with the camera...

Code Yellow Mom said...

What about the cute picture you posted of you at your niece's wedding?

Someone at the beach last week caught me on film playing with my boys. So I have me on the beach AND the hospital bed collection of photos. That's why I chose a dumptruck for my profile pic. :)

Love these other photos you shared...And judging from teh insights you share about your family and life, your kids will know you were there, pictures, or not. Trust me.

Jenny said...

That last picture is so very sweet. It really captures the joy of motherhood. It's going to be hard for me to look down on you since I'm only 5'1" if I stand up really tall. I have only a select few pictures of me with the kids that I actually like. I should probably be less critical of myself though.

Susanne said...

I don't know why I thought you were so tall but knowing the truth doesn't make you any less in stature in your love & joy that you show of yourself thru your posts! I think it was the pic of you in your little black dress for the wedding. You really do need to have the child who likes to take "nice" pictures take more of you. If you gave the camera to mine you'd get shots of me with the lense basically up my nose, or my mouth open to scarf down that marble slab ice cream. In the hands of two of my kids a camera is a dangerous weapon! :)

Theresa said...

Major sweetness! I love the one of the kids and the hubby. BTW - How far apart are your children?? Because in that photo they all look like they came out in the same year!!! Except for the baby of course. :) And, the one of you in the hospital - I thought "I want to have another baby". Then second thought was, "did I just really say that??" :)

Heather said...

Our family pics also suffer from a lack of me. In my case, the only reason we have pics of me is that my husband thinks it great fun to take pics with me as model. So I am not in any of the family gathering pics but we have tons f posed shots of me. Silly really.

Tammy M. said...

I love your pictures. You look exactly like another mom I know from my kids school. Do you carry a tiny little yipper dog named Goliath? If you do then it proves you and she are the same person. I have thoroughly enjoyed your parenting and family guidance. My husband and our son Derek had their P2P weekend and it was a complete success, blessed them both. Now I need to listen to the CD's so I know just what my 9 year old knows about the facts of life and purity. Thanks for you posts.

Susanne said...

BTW, tagged you!

Gina Conroy said...

I used to think I was tall until I went to college. At 5 3 1/2" I was the tallest in my family.

I am also missing in most of my family photos.

Tammy said...

Tall, short, medium...still think you seem to be a pretty neat lady! :)

I so love all the pictures in this post! They are adorable...and yes, including the ones with you in it! :)
You have such a beautiful family!

Shawna said...

Okay, if I were giving out awards, this would have to be a perfect post - no doubt about it. Absolutely excellent!