Growing up in Aiea, Hawaii is probably the most beautiful thing God has blessed me with. We used to
live near Sumida Farm, Hawaii’s largest watercress farm. I remember how much I loved running through
the woods with my mom. We used to lay down in the Aiea grass and watch the clouds sail by. Even on the days
when mom was too tired to go out, we stayed home and built castles with Play-Doh and break them
down again. We were a great duo, but she died when I was only 7 years old.
I am turning 25 on July; I have a beautiful daughter and a loving husband. My husband and I decided to
settle down in Washington short after we got married. A few nights ago, I had a dream of my mom
playing with my daughter, Aisah. My daughter was racing through the woods with her large hat flopping
up and down. The place resembles the woods I used to run around and play with my mom. Only, it was
more beautiful than how I remembered it. The trees towered each other with the sun peeking through
the trees and a bit of a breeze made the leaves rustle. She was hand in hand with my mom, occasionally
looking back over her shoulder to check if I was still there.
I was snapping photos of their hands, swinging over the Aiea air as they sing.
My daughter asked me to take her hand and sing with them.
“Not right now, Hun. I’m taking pictures.”
Then I realized I was becoming more concerned of photographing memories than engaging with it. Then
I put the camera down.
“I changed my mind,” I said to myself.
I watched as my daughter smiled at me like she was glad I held her hand. I felt guilt. I was more
concerned with taking pictures of her than making memories with her.
I wonder if taking photos impacts the possibilities of the experiences that can be made. I wonder if it
steals the feelings and the beauty of being in the moment.
I woke up that morning and promised to myself that I will be fully and completely engaged with
whatever my daughter is doing.