Finding a Special Moment Every Day

a boy taking a ride in a wheelbarrow

The other day, my almost-5-year-old Liam and my almost-2-year-old Jack were playing ball in the living room. Putting aside the question of why the living room was a good place to play ball, the point was that they were playing together nicely. And not just fake “mama is watching and has already yelled at us three times” nicely (which never happens anyway) but really truly “enjoying each other’s company because we’re brothers” nicely.

A quiet moment in the hospital just after Jack was born.

And I got kind of teary because, well, babies are hard. Tiny beings who can’t walk or talk or use the bathroom or feed themselves are a lot of work. I remember people telling me that it gets easier when they turn two, but that’s usually when you start on the second kid, and that it REALLY gets easier when the YOUNGEST turns two.

So we’re coming up to that point, and it does feel like a turning point. I can feel us moving into another phase and I am happy and sad at the same time. Sad to let go of my babies, happy to move on to the next phase of having TWO KIDS. Not one kid plus a baby, but two kids.

There’s a blog post that went viral a couple of years ago—you may remember it. It’s called “Don’t Carpe Diem” by Glennon Melton of Momastery. In it, Glennon talks about how we’re under so much pressure as parents to seize the day and enjoy every moment because it passes so fast, but how parenting is hard and it’s not all fun. Not every moment IS enjoyable.

Time stands still for ice-cream

Instead of trying to enjoy every moment, Glennon talks about “Chronos time” as regular, everyday time, and “Kairos time,” which she describes as “those magical moments in which time stands still.”

For me it was the moment when Liam and Jack were playing ball in the living room. Or yesterday morning when Jack stuffed one side of his mouth full of crackers and walked around like that for five minutes. Or when Liam says something really funny to explain to me that Superheroes are not actually real, duh. Or really every moment that causes me to want to pull out my camera to record it forever.

The eyes of a child looking up at his mama.

These moments happen every day, just not all the time. One way to become more aware of them and to experience more of them is through photography.

To me, as a parent, photographing my kids is about Kairos time—it’s about more fully experiencing, capturing and remembering those magical moments. Taking better photos only serves a purpose when it is to better capture the beauty of those moments.

A rare moment of stillness in a four year old’s life

The magical thing about photography is that through the process of documenting your life, you can change your experience of it. You can find more Kairos time.

And that is something, in this month of thankfulness, to be very grateful for. I know that I am, maybe not every moment, but at least every day.

About Alethea Fitzpatrick

Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick is a family photographer and photography coach for parents with Photosanity. A former architect and interior designer, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her two boys Liam, age six, and Jack, age three.Alethea is on a mission to help parents more fully experience the precious fleeting moments of their children's lives through photography. Find her on http://photosanity.com
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