Last night Pete and I loaded up the boys and drove to a nearby Bible college where they do a Christmas display of lights every year. "Display," however, is putting it mildly. I'm not sure the actual numbers but the lights go on and on and on, with animations and music and blinking and twinkling on hundreds of trees, bushes, etc.
So, ignoring our own blinking lights on the dashboard of the Toyota, we ventured out in 39-degrees-and-windy weather to show the boys the incredible sight. We threw their jackets and mittens in the car but didn't really intend to put them to use.
Then we got there and lo and behold a parking space presented itself and we couldn't resist...we zipped and hooded up the boys and set off in the dark of the early evening.
The lights...they were truly beautiful. We walked up and down the sidewalks and the boys gazed and pointed and Mickey provided an endless string of questions and comments. The large body of water in the middle of the campus had me gripping Alex's hand unnaturally tightly, but there were ducks and a fountain so I held him in my arms so we could still get a look. For a minute.
Then next to the pond was a white gazebo with a swing (are you hearing Hallmark commercial music yet?) and then horror struck me:
I didn't bring my camera.
Me...the photomaniac in our family, the one who had 20 complete family photo albums in her possession, BEFORE husband and sons even came along. I found myself without my camera for what could have been a beautiful seasonal shot...maybe, (gasp!) even Christmas-card quality.
So the photo-op was lost, but just between you and me...it was kind of nice. There was no pleading with the boys to stay still for a picture. I wasn't begging Pete to help me get "just one shot." I wasn't agonizing over lighting, backgrounds, smiles (or lack of), hoods over eyes or extraneous people in the viewfinder. All I was doing was enjoying watching the boys on the swing. And Pete took out his cellphone and snapped a couple of blurred shots for me (bless him). And I have those to remember the outing by, and the memories in my mind and in this blog post.
Maybe sometimes that should be enough.
(But just in case maybe I should also get a couple of disposable Kodaks to keep in my car...)