Five pictures.

That’s how many pictures I took on our family vacation back east. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

I told my mom that and she said “what about looking back on the memories?? When the kids are older you are going to wish you took more.”

She’s probably right because let’s face it…our moms turn out to be right about everything.

But the truth is, I wanted it this way. I wanted to put my phone down…put my camera down. I wanted to live in the moment.

When I’m back at my parents’ house, I occasionally go through the old photos. Mainly to show my kids all of my ridiculous bowl cuts and crooked teeth. (And to show them that they do resemble mommy).  But when I talk about my favorite moments…the vacations at the beach…getting knocked down by waves…the best fries on the boardwalk…running down the stairs on Christmas morning…all of the trips to Hershey Park…watching my mom try to roller skate…my dad teaching me how to shoot a perfect foul shout…all of the pranks I pulled on my little brother…the time I caught my sister doing the “Cabbage Patch” in her room…oh the list goes on and on.  When I talk about all of my favorite moments…I never reference any picture…I do it from my memory. A memory that is crystal clear because my parents…my family were PRESENT.  Not just there…but they were PRESENT…and involved.

Of course I want pictures so we can all look back and remember what we looked like.

But I want my kids to remember me experiencing their childhood with them.  The exciting trips to the beach, the pool, Disney, the park, the ice cream shop, the lake and everything in between.  The moments like reading a book to them at night or making up my own story…showing my oldest how to shoot a basketball…teaching my son how to swing a bat (because he thinks it’s cool mommy knows how to play baseball)…showing my youngest how to ride her tricycle…making cupcake cones for a treat…building forts in the living room.

I love pictures.  And I love sharing them on social media.

But for the millions of moments in between, I want to put the camera down and live in the moment.

I want my kids to have thousands of stories to tell.  And all of the good ones start off with, “Remember when we…”