I'm a picture person. For decades I have captured all the events of my kids and scenery from day trips or exotic getaways, first film then digital images. But always the end product was the good old fashioned print stuck into photo albums to share with family and friends.
My mom also took many a picture, too, though not as prolifically as I. She never graduated from film but always had prints made (except for that box of pesky slides). And mom's photos never made it to an album. They reside in cardboard boxes with manilla envelopes serving as dividers announcing the years 1950, 1951, 1952, . . . Though not particularly numerous or artistic, the pictures are fabulous.
Recently I have taken on the project of getting mom's pictures into albums, discarding the duds and duplicates. At 91 mom's eyesight is declining but luckily she wrote on the backs of her pictures so we know who, what, when, and where. What fun it's been pouring through these old images reliving nearly-forgotten events and remembering loved ones.
An age old dilemma becomes evident as we sort photos - mom was always behind the camera and very rarely appears in the images. Mom, were you there? Of course she was, but it would sure be nice to have more shots of her. Yeah, the same problem existed through the decades of my own family picture taking. You have to flip through a lot of pages to find an image of ME.
The world of family photography has changed dramatically. It's an age of phone cameras, selfies, and (who would've imaged) selfie sticks. I'm not a selfie fan or taker, bur kudos to all you moms who are actually in the images with your family, proving you were present at all those events!
I'm trying to make two important points. FIrst, get in the picture. Don't be left out, even if you think you're having a bad hair day. You'll regret that later, years from now when your grown kids are looking at pictures and trying to remember if mom was with them on that hiking trip to Stein's Pillar. Second, print the images! Sure, you can share them now with the world via social media. But images stuck on a cloud or iPhone or hard drive won't be something to hold and hand down and elicit memories 50 years from now. There's just no substitute for holding something precious in your hand and sharing with your mom.