I take pictures of everything. I photograph food, flowers, books, babies and bedding, just to name a few, but several days ago, I realized I hadn't been photographing one very important part of my life.
I rarely photograph my husband. Granted, this is because he hates being in photos and just like Lolly, catching him in a still moment is almost impossible.
I recently stumbled across an old photo of Cody holding our ginger baby and we both remarked at how he had aged in the last three years and I felt so sad that I had little evidence of the progression. In fact, other than a handful of photos, I barely have any photographic evidence of Cody at all.
So, my new photo project will be documenting my husband. First, because he's cute and I like him and second, because my husband is the kind of man that will frequently be asked about by his great, great grandchildren and they're going to want to see pictures as well. There need to be shots of him doing what he loves, doing what he knows and just plain living, because the future needs them.
One day, my children will take a worn photo of my husband from an old book and again tell stories about the "strongest man they ever knew". They'll talk about the time he lifted an entire hot tub on his back and set it in the bed of his truck. Or the time he helped their mother move while they were dating- he lifted a couch on to his shoulder and carried it up 3 flights of stairs without even breaking a sweat.
They'll laugh over the time he tore out an exterior wall of the house (the LIVING ROOM WALL, they might add) in the dead of summer, much to their mother's horror, built a new wall and replaced it all while she was at a baby shower. They'll talk about the beautiful tables he made; how he could toast a Bible-school grad in Bible trivia; how he loved to rant about politics and watch cartoons. They'll tell that he was the kind of man who never needed to delete his internet search history and made the best banana bread on the planet.
They'll joke about his temper and how much he hated tattoos. They'll talk about all the things he taught them and how he was always true to his word, even when it hurt (and even when it was actually super annoying... "You're mowing the lawn NOW?! It's 11 o'clock at night!" "Yes, I said I was going to, so I'm going to.")
The future needs pictures of Cody. They need a face with the name of the man who carried his family on his back, through the kind of pressure under which most men would crumble. They need to know that the kind of man who would be willing to give his life to protect strangers isn't a myth or a character in an action movie. They need to see the face of the man who anyone would pick to be beside them in a fox hole, because he was brave, generous and selfless. They need to know that noble men exist.
The future will be lucky to hear about the life of this humble, phlegmatic artist with Hulk strength long after he's gone.
You're welcome, future. I've got your back.
And happy birthday, Cody. You are the best husband and daddy your family could ask for.