For years I hardly put myself in pictures with my kids. "I'm too fat," I said. "My butt takes up the entire frame." There's probably an entire decade of photos in which I'm only in a few.
I watched them play at the beach today - sandy butts and sun kissed hair - digging holes, finding shells, skimboarding - and I was reminded of how these days are going to be gone soon.
This time is going to disappear into a memory faster than our sandcastles melt into the sea at dusk. I want them to remember me. I want them to know mom loved getting buried in the sand. She loved getting knocked down in the waves. She loved hearing giggles about how they just peed in the ocean. She loved paying too much for ice cream waffle cones and letting them stay up a little late to watch terrible B-grade Netflix movies.
Yes, my butt is still big and probably always will be, but I need to be in the frame. I need to be in these memories. I need them to know how much I love them here and now, in this picture, in this time. Hopefully no amount of time will ever wash that memory away.