Living the Moment v. Capturing the Moment


On one unplugged morning, my boys and I went to see a string quartet play – a special concert put on twice a month for the preschool and under set.

My boys loved it. Each in their own way, of course. My eldest, Ewan, a serious introverted little guy, stood close to the stage. He watched the instruments being played. He listened to the music. He took it all in.

My youngest, Xander, a gregarious boisterous toddler engaged with the music in an entirely different way. He moved. He danced. He ran around.

And then he went to grab his brother, taking him by the hand, to dance with him.

Tears came to my eyes, literally, watching my boys dancing together and I found myself fumbling for the only camera I had with me. Wanting, desperately, to capture the moment.

I reached into my bag and pulled out my iPhone. I swiped at it, trying to get the camera to turn on. But it was off, all the way off. Unplugged hours be darned, I pushed the power button and waited, impatiently as the phone – my camera – came back to life.

I snapped a few pictures and promptly turned it back off.

Capturing the Moment |

Despite being a photo nut, compulsively documenting the big and small moments in our lives, this was the first time in nearly two weeks that I plugged back in to capture a moment during our unplugged mornings.

What I’ve found, instead of capturing the moments from our mornings, I’ve been living them. Really living them. There are no interruptions in the action as I fumble for a camera. There are no moments where we lose our flow, because I haven’t broken it.

These mornings are a good rest for me, and for them. These unplugged mornings are a reminder that some times are still special. Some times are just between us. Some times are not meant to be shared. Some times are fleeting.

And in those special, fleeting moments, I’ve found that I am so very thankful that I am where I am, when I am, savoring the moment I am in.


  1. says

    I am also trying to find that balance between living the moment & capturing it. I love taking photos (the fact that I have TOO MANY pictures to fit on my computer’s hard drive & have to keep them all on an external drive is evidence of that, I think!) but I also found that I felt like I was *missing* the moments I was there documenting, as I experienced them only through my viewfinder.

    I keep my camera handy more or less all the time – just in case something wonderful happens that I know I will want to be able to see again in 20 years – but mostly I leave it sitting there, or I snap just a picture or two and then PUT IT DOWN and enjoy the moment as fully present. It’s a struggle, though, isn’t it? We’ve become conditioned to be connected all the time, and I notice more and more that when we are out somewhere I am often the only parent who doesn’t have one eye on an electronic device. (I *have* one, mind – it’s just in my bag, over there, probably with the ringer still turned off from church last weekend and five new messages because I never remember to check it…) xo



    Danielle Reply:

    It’s all about balance, I guess. The thing I’ve learned by allowing myself a few hours a day to be disconnected, is that my balance was a bit off. Having these unplugged hours and experiences has been just enough to help me regain the balance that I need – that my family needs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *