Say Cheese, Even When You Do Not Want To!

This month we celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday. With the pandemic safety measures, we held small gathering. We wished we could have invited the world to celebrate all the greatness that encompasses our mom, but to protect her and others, we kept it to a few key people in her life.

Now it is important to understand a few things about our mom. She hates being the center of attention and she HATES having her picture taken (I will come back to this later). My teenage daughter broke all the rules and lied to my mom to get her to my house. Once she realized we deceived her, she declared my daughter would “get hers”.

Despite her resistance to celebrating her birthday and parties, she admitted having a good time. Her low-key celebration comprised food, cake, and the ever important Coca-Cola. Most importantly, this meant catching up with some of the many important people in her life. That was our ultimate goal for her. She enjoyed the day and did not roll her eyes at us once. We take that as a win!

Now let’s go back to her extreme hate of having her picture taken. When you try to take her picture, you are guaranteed to get one of three faces. You might get a mean glare, a photo of her looking away, or my personal favorite a photo with her hand over her face. It’s common knowledge that you will end up with a comical picture of my mom. A picture you didn’t want, but never knew you needed (for a good laugh).

For the party, my daughter took on the task of making a collage of pictures of her grandmother over the years. She did a fantastic job despite the lack of pictures. There were plenty of photos of her before she had us, but an obvious lack of them since. Somewhere in her life, she started hating the camera. As my daughter sorted through the pictures, I was sad for her and the rest of my family. There were so few pictures of her with us or her grandchildren. I promised myself I would take more pictures with my kids (although we already take a lot). I do not want my kids to look back and wish there were more pictures of me.

Mothers, please come out from behind the camera and have your picture taken with your kids and by yourself. Don’t leave your family wishing they had more pictures of you. This is a regret that you can prevent.

I also promised myself I would be better about taking pictures of my mother even as she protests. I HAD to be better. One day she will not be here for me to take her picture. This is a regret I do not want to live with.


  1. It almost sounds like you’re talking about my 9 year old. He also hates to get his pictures taken. It looks like you had a good party. Happy birthday to your mom!


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