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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Slice Of Humble Pie For Mommy

I have been working on a project called "That's What She Said!" It is all about empowering women and encouraging our daughters. 
Sometimes, I forget what that looks like.
Last week, I found my daughter in the front yard with her friends...and MY CAMERA! My camera is mine, mine, mine! No one is to touch it, ever! I am like a toddler clutching a favorite toy with grubby hands. Mine, mine, mine!
I wish that I could say that I beamed with pride that my girl was showing interest in photography. I wish I had taken a moment to see the beautiful moment between her and her pals. 
Instead, I did the crazy mom walk and barked at her to never, ever touch my camera. I may or may not have talked about myself in the third person. "Mommy has told you many times that my camera is not a toy!" Gag.
The next day, I loaded my oh, so important photos. 
There they were. On my computer screen, I saw the most beautiful images. Shots that my girl had taken. I got a glimpse of the world through her eyes. My girl always notices the details of life. There on my screen were closeups of the flowers that she planted. There were closeups of her friends. 
Screeching brakes. Humble pie served.
Part of my brain was justifying my poor behavior. "She broke the rules and needed to be corrected." 
In my heart of hearts, I knew I had missed an opportunity. I knew that I could have handled the moment so differently.
Here is the new rule: do not use my camera without my permission.
My girl heard my apology, agreed to the new rule and asked for camera tips. Who knew talking "ISO" and "Portrait Setting" could be a bonding experience? 
She asked, "How can I get focus when I am so close?"
That is the question I should have been asking all along. 

Photos by K.G. Rossow




Link Par-taay at:
http://www.serenitynowblog.com
http://HonestMom.com/

42 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. This is me. My life. My experience. Perfectly rendered, Kerry.

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    1. Glad to know I am not alone! I've been thinking about you so much! Sending y'all big love.

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  2. Beautiful post. I wish I could get some lessons too, from you. I want to get clear shots too!!!

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    1. Thank you, Pinky! Parenting is not for wussies!

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  3. Isn't it maddening that it takes hindsight for us to notice what could have been a great moment. Ugh. I hate hindsight, lol. Awesome that you stood up and apologized for behaviour you didn't like. What a fabulous lesson for your daughter, though not the one you would have preferred, still very valuable.

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    1. Hindsight kills me! I am not too proud to circle back and admit idiocy, however! Thanks, Terry!

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  4. Your daughter has quite an eye for photography! I remember once being in trouble for something...probably sassing my Mother and in her moment of "WHAT?""" grounded me from the thing that was dearest to me...youth group at church. I fled to my room and flung myself to the bed. She later came to apologize to me for grounding me from church when most teenagers don't want to even go! I thought my mother was one of the most fabulous women to have apologized to me. She went even higher on the rung of hero in my book. So....may not have been a shining moment for you but you showed your daughter you are human and you do make mistakes.. and you have class!

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    1. I am still harboring resentment that I couldn't go to church camp! I hope when my girl grows up she remembers this the way you are tributing your mother! Thanks, Molly!

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  5. The lessons I've learned from my daughters have been both the hardest to swallow and the most important I've learned in my life. Your daughter has a good eye.

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    1. Ain't that the truth? I keep trying to live by the quote, "Don't be the mother you think you should be. Be the mother you always wanted." Thank you, Sandra.

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  6. 1. taking things without permission, wrong. you handled it the way you handled it, which how we normal mom's usually do, and learn from.
    2. the photos, beautiful, utterly beautiful.

    I'm glad you found a new way to bond with your daughter <3

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    1. So true. I just wish I hadn't been such a jerk.

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  7. "How can I get focus when I'm so close?" Wow. Now there's a question we should all ask ourselves. Glad it turned into such a beautiful opportunity to bond with your daughter!

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    1. I was too close to see it. It took a little girl to show me what I was missing.

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  8. You are a gifted writer! You are able to put into words what so many of us are thinking. Thank you. I checked into the presentation in Urbana, Illinois. Still trying to figure how to get there from Omaha, Nebraska (via flight). I'd love to attend. My daughter and I met you in Atlanta on the airport shuttle last summer. Not only are you hilarious, but so insightful. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing your life, honestly.

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    1. That shuttle was a hoot! Thank you so much! I think you and your daughter should take a road trip for the show!

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  9. Beautifully stated, Kerry! That's quite the "budding" photographer you have there. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Katy! I can't wait to squeeeeeeze you at BlogHer!

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  10. Well said, Kerry! it's so hard when we're in the "moment", but at least your heart and mind were open enough to remedy the situation. Kudos!!
    xo Heidi

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  11. Any Mommy will agree - we just sometimes have these moments.

    One in particular sticks in my head and I beat myself up over it time and again - and it was years and years ago.

    My Mom died young - but she lived long enough to see my girls and to know them. I have a pic of my eldest at about three when Mom came visiting...and I was overworked, over tired, over broke, over any semblance of patience and just plain overwhelmed with life (worked full time, went to school, took care of sick mom's house and mine and STILL didn't have two nickles to rub together.)

    There was my sweet angel Mom and my eldest sitting on her lap. I grabbed my camera - and pics were expensive to develop, esp to a brokebutt like we were back then....I wanted to get a cute one of those two.....and I "misfired" a shot with my kid touching Mom's face....and I said something snarky. And took another shot.

    And developed them. There is the one with them both laughing and eldest touching Mom's face - it's precious, why didn't I see that? And then the one I thought I wanted - but it is them looking at me, kid sad and Mom mad.

    I kept them both and about a year ago just threw that 2nd one away. I cried every time I saw it. I remember years later asking Mom about it and she said in her gentle sweet way "Oh honey, she was asking me about my wrinkles!"

    My Mom didn't live long enough to get grey hair, but she earned - and loved- every one of those wrinkles like they were Badges of Honour.

    Oh, Kerry, see? It does happen. You handled it right.

    Big hugs - to you BOTH.

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    1. Michele. This melted my heart. Thank you. Your words are a gift.

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  12. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful learning moment. Just beautiful.

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    1. It seems like I am always the one playing catch up to my kids. Thank you.

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  13. Thanks for sharing that special moment. I needed the reminder....

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    1. Sometimes, I need a personal chaperone to point out my bad behavior and to tell me to shut up and listen. You available?

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  14. What a lucky mom you are.

    But even more...WHAT A LUCKY GIRL SHE IS!!

    After a while, that ol'humble pie starts to taste ok. I am way too used to it. =)

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    1. I have eaten enough humble pie in my life. You would think I would learn?? Thanks, Carrie!

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  15. Beautiful post, Kerry! I find myself doing this more often then I'd like...kicking myself for reacting first and not taking a beat to see the situation for the cooler opportunity it could have been. That's when I usually ask for a do-over. And those pictures really are amazing.

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    1. I need a do-over! Wouldn't that be a beautiful thing? Thank you!

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  16. Wow, great photos!

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  17. I don't know how you knew, but this is exactly what I needed to read. Exactly. Thank you for writing it Kerry and for opening my eyes a little wider. Beautiful piece.

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    1. It's good to know that we are all in the same boat! I keep reminding myself that parenting is a tough gig and we are all doing the best we can. Thank you so much.

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  18. She asked, "How can I get focus when I am so close?"
    That is the question I should have been asking all along.

    That's what she said. For shizzle.
    I love you.
    I love your daughter.
    I love this post.

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    1. Right back at ya. Parenting is not for wussies, huh?

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  19. It's great you saw another moment in this moment, but honestly, moms are people too and she had your (Your!) camera. I see both sides, is all I'm saying.

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    1. That's right. It is always a good thing to show that we are human and we make mistakes. Respecting other people's things is also important, right?? Thanks, Anna!

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  20. Okay, I am so late reading this, but here's a double humble pie lesson.

    I did open this post when you first wrote it. I got distracted by a million other things, glanced back at it and thought, "Those pictures are nice, but not Kerry's best work . . ." I closed the window and went about my day.

    Now I'm reading it for real, and I'm not only touched by your story, but learning my own lesson that I should remember to look closer and learn more. Those are gorgeous pictures. What a lovely object lesson for both of you. I think it turned out perfectly.

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    1. That made me laugh! "Not Kerry's best work..."
      Look closer, learn more. That is my new motto. Thanks, Nicole!

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