Cousin-induced motion blur

My cousins are always in motion.

Since I don’t have little ones around every day, I really look forward to seeing the kids in my family. On one side is our Virginia crew of rambunctious, adorable boys (and their equally great little sister!); and from Pennsylvania, we have a gaggle of girls to delight and entertain us. All my little cousins — actually second cousins, in most cases — are under the age of six, so it’s never dull at our gatherings.

Whether I’m coloring, running, doing “karate” (Peyton’s favorite, learned from many a screening of “Kung Fu Panda”) or jumping on a trampoline, our kid crew teaches me to live in the moment. I absolutely love spending time with them — mostly because they’re hilarious and random. They let me color in their Barbie coloring books. And yes, they definitely say the craziest things.

It’s both my blessing and curse to be so aware of the passage of time — and I know that the next time I see Trinity and Peyton, my northern cousins, they’ll be older. Different. In school. With new friends and new experiences. And because they don’t see us too often, they probably will have forgotten all our silly jokes and games from this summer and their Thanksgiving visit. I will remember them, but they won’t remember me.

So I tried to document our family time — if only for myself. My photography skills have definitely been put to the test . . . and, um, have been found lacking. And I’m learning there isn’t a shutter fast enough to capture a child’s devilish grin or head thrown back in laughter. I mean, news alert: kids are fast. They move all the time. And if I thought I was one step ahead of Peyton, an adorable blonde firecracker, I was wrong. Nearly every picture I took was blurry — save this one:

The motion speaks to me, though. I bask in the knowledge that I can barely keep up with them — and love the challenge of capturing a fleeting moment. The girls will never be 3 or 4 or 5 again, but there’s a beauty in that. In the growing up. In the knowledge that these moments are temporary — but no less meaningful. Maybe more meaningful . . . because they’re temporary?

And I know someday I’ll come home to a family of my own — a family with kids I’ll desperately want to document, want to suspend in time. They’ll be fast and wild and silly and smart and bossy. And loved.

Let’s hope there’s a shutter fast enough to capture all that.

6 thoughts on “Cousin-induced motion blur

  1. No there really ISN’T a camera on earth that can properly capture the life of a child. It seems like you just can’t take enough pictures. Just this past year, I had to make a “tribute page” for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation for the yearbook, and the process was humbling. Digging through all those pictures and picking the best 5 or 10 of her life was emotional. I think it is precious that you take such care in documenting your cousins’ activity!


  2. I’ve been going through similar thoughts since my two nieces were born. My sister and I don’t live too far away, but just enough that, when life gets busy, we sometimes go a few months without seeing each other. And my nieces grow up so fast! They learn to do so many new things, so quickly! And they really are quick on the move, they put my camera (and their father’s) to the test every time! 🙂 While I usually try to select only great photographs of other subjects, I find myself falling for the blurry ones, just to see a hint of a spontaneous smile.


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