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Picture(esque) MOMents

1652. That is the number of photos and videos that have been taken on my phone since March 13, 2020. That was the first day I spent at home as a full-time admissions director while ALSO being a  SAHM, cleaning lady, bed & breakfast coordinator, and overall paparazzi. It's just me, my kids, and my iPhone camera, all day/every day.

I feel like my days are consumed by finding a way to work side-by-side by 1 and 2 year old children who are playing, eating, kvetching, and getting 2 inches from my face to show me something. One is learning how to walk while the other one has learned how to manipulatively talk. It's beautiful and chaotic and scary all at the same time.

We are on our second week of watching Frozen - once per day - and I'm not going to lie, it's a breathtaking departure from Cocomelon and Sesame Street. I love Disney - this movie was created for experiences like this. I start my days by asking my daughter if she wants to build a snowman and she is instantly happier and excited to do anything I say if it means watching this movie on the couch while I get some work done. I don't feel guilty - in fact, I feel I've discovered my best mom survival hack thus far.

And all the while, I am snapping quick shots of the kids eating, cuddling, singing, playing together, riding indoor bikes and scooters, sitting in boxes, inspecting their toes, taking baths... This has become a rare opportunity to document 24/7 with my kids. I feel like I am in a surreal version of some weird MTV Real World season: Pandemic 2020. But this time the entire world is participating, not just 7 people.

This morning, my husband got up with the kids (part of the usual plan). He escorted them downstairs, gave them breakfast, turned on Frozen, let them make a mess, and let me sleep late. I asked why, to his response, "Happy Mother's Day." FYI, it's May 24. He didn't mess up on the calendar, he just understood me.

I came down eventually, blasted Carole King's Tapestry in the kitchen while whipping up some eggs for my husband, and sang my way through each and every song. This was followed by snuggling on my couch and watching Billy Joel's 1984 Wembley Stadium concert streaming from my phone to my TV.  Everyone was in good spirits and playing nicely. My daughter is understanding that if Billy Joel can play a harmonica and piano simultaneously, she can, too. You'd think I'd have documented this day as a unique historical experience. Photos taken today during this most idyllic experience: zero.

I just didn't have my phone nearby.. I didn't have my hair covered.. I wasn't wearing a modest outfit that would justify publicizing a photo of this moment on my social media.. This morning was meant to be cherished and remembered in our minds and in our hearts - not on instagram. When I realized this all happening - the beauty and irony of it - I immediately found my phone to jot down some notes.

This pandemic will never be forgotten. We'll have photos, videos, articles, and our permanent internet footprint to remember this experience for as long as we live, and for those who come after us. But the question is - which moments will you put out to the world to see with their eyes, and which will you keep to yourself? That will be up to you to decide. Happy Memorial Day Weekend.


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