Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Pictures You Don't See

Someone said something to me today that made me think about pictures of people with food.  Maybe it's because we are German and generally food-loving, but my family has always been obsessed with food pictures.  We've never prayed before a meal, but it's always been understood in my family that no one can touch the food at a special meal until pictures have been taken of it.  When the food is in front of us, one of my aunts or my mom is always taking a picture. I can't tell you how many times I've had to choke down a huge bite of food in a split second because someone was taking a picture of us all eating and I didn't want a photo of myself with a mouth stuffed with food.

I've taken a lot of pictures of Aias with food in front of him.  Sometimes I've even managed to get a picture of him taking a bite of food.

Here are some pictures of him with food:

Taking a risk at trying tempura shrimp
Tasting ice cream
Playing with these little bbq chip rings the babysitter brought over
A hashbrown (former safe food)
Ikura Nigiri, the strangest safe food he ever had
Wakame/Seaweed salad, another strange safe food he had for a while
Cheerios with a friend
Being polite and sitting in the high chair for Christmas dinner with Grandma and Grampa

Anyhow, what strikes me about these pictures is how normal he looks. He just looks like a completely normal kid who is going to enjoy a food, gobble it up, and grow taller and gain weight. I seriously have hundreds of pictures of him with foods, I bet.

I guess what also strikes me are the things I DON'T have pictures of:

- All the times he refused to even let food be put in front of him
- All the times he screamed, threw the food, and ran out of the room
- All the times he froze up when I put a "non-safe" food on his plate, which invalidated the "safe" food
- All the food we've put through the garburator at the end of the night because he didn't eat it
- All the food we've left on the counter or in the fridge in hopes he'd eat it later
- All the food that's sat cold, uneaten, untouched on the plate (like the plate of Chrismas food above)
- All the food that he's just reached down and passed to the dog
- All the food that was too scary or uninteresting or offensive so he just wouldn't allow it near him at all

These are the things I don't have pictures of, and the reality is, if I did take pictures of those things, they'd fill albums.

I love these pictures because I do feel like they show beautiful moments; they are memories of moments where he was maybe willing to eat half of something, give something a taste, touch a food, etc.  That's probably why I took them in the first place.  Someday when he's older and doesn't have any issues with food (crossing my fingers this time comes), I'll be able to look back at these pictures and remember happy things.

At the same time, I feel like these pictures don't tell the whole story, which is too bad, because supposedly photos never lie.
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