I had a dream last night that a robber broke into our house. He was in all black, and he was sneaking around trying to figure out what to steal (uh, like we have anything worth stealing...). But suddenly, he noticed our family photo on the wall and he said all pleasantly, "Oh, a little family lives here! I guess I shouldn't rob them after all." and he decided to go get some frozen yogurt at Orange Peel instead.
I mean, I don't blame him. Orange peel is kind of the best thing in my life. But really? You're a pretty lousy robber, dude.
That kind of random hilarity is pretty much how all my dreams go. Aren't dreams just something else?? I mean sometimes I just wake up going "What the? Why was I a jungle expert on exotic owls?" (the night before last's dream. I don't even.) What a trip.
But you know what? As weird as it was, that robber dream totally got me thinking. A lot about Orange Peel frozen yogurt (Creamy white mint with brownies. I die every time.). But also, about photos.
Like, the way a photo can capture so much, but leave out a lot, too. For example, the photo above. What you see is a mom and a baby and a Christmas tree. A pretty generically frozen moment of Christmas bliss (which it was!). But that's not all of it. In fact, not even half.
What you don't see? Piles of toys around my feet from a busy toddler's indoor adventures. Diapers by the front door. "Frosty the Snowman" playing for the seven-hundreth time in the background. A blue Captain America mask on the arm of a couch. A dimpled baby's bubbling laughter. Dinner dishes still on the table. Above-mentioned toddler throwing play dough bits at the ceiling fan. An out-of-tune piano in the corner, stacked with a busy grad-student-husband's econ books.
A family. An imperfect, crazy, loud, laughing, busy, happy family.
So why? Why can't a camera capture all of these things? I need it to. Because I'm afraid I will forget. That I'll forget the chaotic happiness that is my life in that moment, and only remember the snapshot that the camera caught.
And how sad that would be. Because I don't just want to remember the tree and the mom and the baby.
I want to remember it ALL.