When the kids were finally in bed, faces no longer sticky and sleeping soundly, it was time to load the pictures from the camera on to the computer. (Yes, I am that old fashioned, I still use an actual camera!) I looked in the stroller basket and console, no camera. I looked in the bag, no camera. I looked in the car, still no camera. The reality that this camera was no longer in our possession began to sink in.
“I guess it fell out of the stroller when I folded it on the train,” said my husband somberly.
I wish I could say that I went into gam zu l’tova mode right away, but that wouldn’t be the truth.
First, there was the immediate mourning for the adorable photos we had taken that day. Bubby would never know how high that Ferris wheel was, or see the boys on the cool zip-line in the park. That cute pose at the train station when everyone held up their bag of Doritos was gone forever.
Next there was the stress of getting a new camera. The money. The research. Finding someone to bring it from America. And, did I mention the money?
And what about all of the photo ops I would miss in the interim? What if the baby started doing something new? What precious moments would go un-photographed and un-shared while we waited for a new camera to arrive?
With all of this negativity flooding my mind, I could easily have succumbed to blaming. Why do we always lose or break everything valuable? Couldn’t my husband have been more careful when he folded the stroller? Who put the camera in the stroller anyway, that’s no place for an expensive electronic device! Why wasn’t he more on top of the camera in the first place?
Though it wasn’t my knee-jerk reaction, I’m proud to say that I didn’t dwell in pessimism, and somehow made peace with the loss. When I finally responded, I was uncharacteristically calm. “You know, we’ve had that camera for eight years. Can you believe it’s lasted eight years without being broken or lost until now? Let’s call it a win that we were able to hold on to that camera for so long.”
The next morning when I opened my bag, the camera was right there in plain sight.
In short; I lost the camera, I didn’t majorly freak-out, and I then found it.
Could it be that I was rewarded with finding the camera because I passed the test? Was this a lesson in the classic idea that we only control our internal response to an external situation? Though this experience inspired reflection, in all honesty, I’m not sure what the takeaway is. Only the Ultimate Photographer sees the big picture.