Yep, this one. The one with masks.
Now, before we get too carried away, this isn't a debate about whether we should wear masks or not. It is a simple explanation of why I won't be commemorating this season with multiple photos of my children with masks on their faces.
Part of this is easy. I want to capture their beautiful smiles and hilarious expressions. I want to see the way our eldest child's dimples shine, our son's habit of slightly sticking out his tongue when he is concentrating (just like his grandfather), and how you can almost predict with 100% accuracy what kind of request will come out of our youngest's mouth depending on the set of her lips.
The sadness, frustration, and difficulty of this season is already etched on our hearts. We don't need to look back at photos of ourselves in masks to be reminded, especially when said photos will cover up much of the emotions those pictures could tell.
I can hear people coming out of the woodwork now to say if we don't document it, we'll forget. First of all, I was trained as an historian before I chose to come home with my kids. There is plenty of documentation of masks in the current culture; you don't need to subject your children to front porch photo shoots in which they wear cloth face coverings of their favorite animated character to have evidence of your existence during Coronavirus. Secondly (and once again, as an historian), I can give you multiple examples of how we choose to forget the past even WITH photographic evidence right in front of our eyes.
I’m choosing to photograph the ways we are celebrating this season. Swimming, cornhole, water balloon fights in the front yard. More family game nights than I can count. Our eldest planning college visits. Our middle starting in-person Scout meetings again. Our youngest expanding her culinary skills. All wonderful memories, and all without masks.
Now, all that being said, if you are filling your SD card or cloud with masked photos of your family, you do you. We are all coping in different ways. For me, I’m going to go capture a few more gorgeous smiles.