There is an album on my phone where I keep favorite photos. Little snaps of my life, forever preserved under glass. These photographs have nothing on the images I used to create. Once upon a time I made beautiful pieces of art, losing myself in the creative process for hours. With fractional movements I pieced together delicate 2-dimensional interpretations of the beauty before me. Time was not an object when presented with something as complex as a flower. I could spend hours exploring a single petal.
The photographs then told a story less about themselves, and more about their creator. Each image another abstract representation of how I saw life before me. Moving, vibrant, and a precious silence in the soft moments surrounding me.
But now the still moments are scarce. I have subjects that do not tolerate my preferred pace. Unlike flowers, my little stones do not pause for the camera. They run, zoom, fidget, kick, bounce, and gallop their way into my heart. So my snapshots are quick. Rationed, even. I make due with what I’ve got, capturing what I can, with the camera in my pocket.
These images tell a different story.
Sometimes one of mess. Or of accomplishment. Togetherness, humor, pride. All inconspicuous mile-markers that will define our life in the years to come. The pictures now sometimes show a life well lived; always a life well lived in.
Every day, I find that I get a little more comfortable with the new medium in my hands. A little more natural. A few more years, and I think I just might be able to do this.
As I sort through the collage I see all the benefits of the path we have handpicked. Hidden in the expressions are sparks of learning, work done together, and a gentle handing down of the truths that define our life.
These pictures convey a very steady rhythm; a beat to our life that brings cohesiveness. There are smiles, projects, messy hands and messy hair, and often there is a tired mom behind the camera. But perhaps more importantly, these snapshots convey our choice to be together. Not one of default, but of careful selection. They show a conscious commitment to a lifestyle of learning, and ultimately, a legacy in the making.
I call the album “homeschooling”. But the best part? When I look through it, I cannot tell the difference between home and school. For us, one no longer exists without the other.