Regrets of Acute Camera Laziness


Last weekend didn’t go as I’d hoped.

Husband’s father visited from Australia, and I’d hoped to get photos of him with the boys. I always have their scrapbook spreads in mind during such things. Otherwise I’d probably never take the camera out, because why distract yourself taking pictures of an event that you could instead just watch and enjoy? Taking photos is a conscious discipline for me.

timmy-muddybumClearly though, I wasn’t very disciplined last weekend. We visited the park, where Timmy chased ducks. I took no photos of it. Timmy waded through puddles. I took no photos of it. He sat in the mud and tried to climb into the duck pond. I took no photos of it. We looked at the aviary. I took no photos of it.

In fact, I didn’t take the camera at all. The most I did was snap a couple of shots of Timmy’s muddy backside with my iPod’s camera function — equipment of relatively rubbish clarity and resolution.

The boys’ “Poppy” was a very undemanding guest. He’d come to meet Daniel and spend some time with his grandsons, and he’d only voiced one desire: to get photos. Of the family, and of the boys together.

He took some candids of the boys, but any photos featuring Poppy himself, I had to take. And guess how many were taken of him with Daniel? Or of my family?


After travelling over 7,000 kilometres, at his own cost, he came home without the one thing he’d asked for, which would have cost us nothing.

Posed photo time was going to be on Sunday morning, before Poppy left for his return trip. But a curve ball was thrown when Daniel’s body temperature became that of the surface of the sun. A miserable crying baby doesn’t make for a good photo. And when the miserable crying baby ends up stuck in the hospital with an IV drip cricket bat taped to his arm, it makes for no photo at all. Not when Poppy was back at home with the rest of the family. They couldn’t all come up to the hospital, either — I had the car, and Poppy’s rental car didn’t have a toddler seat for Timmy.


Now time was up, and Poppy had to leave.

He couldn’t even say goodbye to Daniel. There was no time.

And no photos.

Sure, we couldn’t have foreseen the hospital stay. We couldn’t have known we couldn’t use Sunday for happy family photos. But there had been plenty of other opportunities before it, and I hadn’t taken them.

I feel horrible. I’ve done the best I can think to do now: arranged for someone else to take photos of our family this week, and of the boys, and I’ll send them over to Poppy.

But there’s still no photographic evidence he met his second grandson. And I can’t fix that one.

As for Daniel, thankfully he turned out to simply have a virus, not meningitis. He’s back home now, and we can no longer toast marshmallows over his head. And after all that, his scrapbook’s meet-the-grandfather page will be rather sparse. Probably rather absent.


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