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We live in a time where every part of our lives is captured by a photograph. Here’s the baby’s first steps—snap a picture! Here’s my sushi—snap a picture! Here’s my open, gaping wound in the ER—snap a picture!
These moments end up on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter in just seconds and somewhere in the transition from real life to photo, lose all their meaning.
I have been making an effort to not take as many pictures as I once did. I want to be in the moment. I want to see what is happening in real time with my own eyes viewing it, not through the lens of my camera or phone. Sure, I might regret this decision years down the road when my memory isn’t as sharp, but right now I’m willing to take that chance.
I tried this out last week at the park. My daughter and her friend were playing when I felt the sud-den urge to grab my phone and start taking pictures of them to post all over Facebook with cute captions like, Best friends forever!
But instead, I just sat back and watched them. I enjoyed seeing my daughter interact with her friend. The best part came when the little girl my daughter was playing with said, “Let’s pretend we have boyfriends.” Not the exact game I like my six-year-old to play, but I was grateful that I wasn’t so busy getting the “right light” for a picture that I even heard it.
I listened as my daughter responded to her friend.
“You can pretend that but I will pretend I don’t have a boyfriend because I like trees better,” she said as she climbed the slide.
I have never been so proud of my girl. And I’m pretty sure I won’t need a picture to remind me of this moment.
The setting is Anytown, USA, among barking dogs, picket fences, and eclectic neighbors. You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps!
Tales from Suburbia will make you laugh, warm your heart, and let you know you're not alone. Mothers (and fathers) will recognize themselves, their children, and the absurd situations that family life brings to us all.
Enjoy an excerpt:
I seldom fall victim to Pinterest, but on this rare occasion, I looked at pictures of tea parties for little girls. The cuteness was almost overwhelming. My daughter loved the idea, which only fueled my enthusiasm. Even my husband was not immune to the excitement and he quickly joined in with the planning.
“How about a chocolate fountain?” he asked with a smile.
Chocolate flowing from an exquisite fountain sitting in the center of a beautifully decorated table. What could possibly go wrong with that, I thought.
“That’s a great idea, honey!” I exclaimed and began a painstaking search of Amazon for the perfect chocolate-oozing birthday party accessory.
What I envisioned as six little girls daintily dipping strawberries and chunks of pound cake into flowing chocolate ended up being the worst idea ever conceived. The chocolate fountain itself turned out to be a poorly-constructed, steel and plastic contraption spewing chocolate out of tiered orifices while making a grinding noise that sounded a lot like a sixteen-year-old learning to drive a stick shift.
A deranged group of six-year-olds hovered around the fountain clutching sharpened sticks in their hands ready to impale fruits, marshmallows and my husband’s inconveniently placed hand. But the worst was the double dipping. I watched as kid after kid shoved a strawberry into the chocolate, took a small bite, then thrust the bacteria-infested berry back into the chocolate. I was certain that a new outbreak of dysentery was about to sweep through our neighborhood because of this wretched chocolate fountain. I could almost hear the accusatory whispers, “Isn’t that the lady who gave all the kids on Tawny Drive diarrhea for a month? Yes, if she offers you chocolate, run away.”
About the Author: In kindergarten, I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. My answer was a neatly written sentence: “I want to write a book about a story.”
The joy I find in writing has never waned. I find humor in all that I see and live my life secure in the knowledge that everything is funny. And now after an amazing ten years of teaching, I find myself wife to the world’s best doctor, mother to the sweetest daughter, caretaker to one wonder mutt and countless ill-fated goldfish and ready to write again. Our residence is Anytown, USA, among barking dogs, picket fences, and eclectic neighbors and these are my stories.
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