“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day.
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
– From The Velveteen Rabbit
***What I Learned from Live Blogging***
- What a minute-by-minute job motherhood is. I was floored when I went back and looked at the timestamp on each of the hundreds of photos I took. I couldn’t believe that what I’d assumed took placed within about a ten minute span of time actually only occurred between a space of two or three minutes. I was stunned that I literally shifted from task to task to task (actually accomplishing each task!) within a matter of minutes. It was eye-opening and exhausting.
- On a similar note, I learned that I’ve grown accustomed to five minutes of “undisturbed” time feeling like a luxury.
- That Live Blogging (in photos) was time consuming, anxiety-ridden, and immensely fun all rolled into one big event. The hardest part was carving out time to go through the routine of saving the photos on the computer, choosing which ones to upload, editing them in Photoshop, uploading them to Slide, adding captions and effects in Slide, and then uploading the slideshow to my blog. This took a lot of work and I am shocked that I actually accomplished it (or that my kids let me accomplish it).
- When I had the idea I’d participate in Live Blogging I’d wondered if I’d make different choices or do things differently than I normally would. In the end, I found the answer was…not really. I admit that I was proud that I didn’t go through any extra efforts to get “made up” or to clean my home more than I usually would. Except for spending more time trying to upload, edit, etc most of my day went as any typical day did (I would have probably napped if I hadn’t felt pressed to get all the technical stuff done). I didn’t have to “look’ for anything to photograph. I just choose the normal, mundane, and beautiful parts of my everyday life. What you saw was the real, gritty, down-n-dirty mamahood of me. It was freeing.
- Until that day I’d never kept track (even loosely) of how many diapers I changed or how often Indi nursed or napped.
- Trying to capture toddler life “in focus” is quite difficult.
- Running errands – and experiencing life in general – is much more exciting when you have a camera in hand. It was addictive.
- One thing I did realize is that I don’t spend enough intentional and personal time with Kaia. It really took photos to make me realize this. I saw her playing alone in so many of them. While she truly, truly seems to enjoy doing this, it still made me sad. And yet, I know most of this is due to having a newborn; one that is either constantly nursing or being held in arms. On the flip side, I also know that when Indi is out of arms, I spend most of my own time blogging. This realization led me to being much more interactive with her today. I hope that continues.
- The most surprising part? How humbling and grateful the experience made me. I found that as I captured photos throughout the day, the little things that would normally stress me out became funny and ironic. Usually, my dog devouring an entire crap-filled diaper could have potentially ruined my day. Instead, I immediately grabbed my camera and laughed at the prospect of capturing the memory. I threw the half-eaten diaper away and with it I threw out my anxiety. Seeing my day replayed in photo made even the temper tantrums and messes seem so insignificant compared to the smiling faces I saw starting back at me in the majority of the photos.
- That I look chubbier, more unkempt, wearier, older, and sillier than I ever imagined. Through the lens, I became REAL.