Motherhood is finding strange photos on your phone

When my daughter was about 3, I was scrolling through the photo reel on my phone one day looking for a particular image when I saw a series of about 10 photos that I didn't recognize.

"What is this?" I thought. By the background, I could tell they had been taken in my living room, but the blurry images in the foreground had me stumped.

"I have no idea what I was trying to get a photo of here," I said aloud, wondering how I didn't notice the photos were bad at the time I'd taken them. My daughter, who was nearby, looked at the phone and said, "That's my feet."

"You took these?" I said.

"Yes, I wanted pictures of my feet," she answered. "Do you like them?"

I laughed, "Yes, I sure do."

That was just the first of several times I'd come across her handiwork on my phone. For a while, every time she watched YouTube Kids, I could count on finding several new images, often blurry or grainy. One of my favorites was a series of photos she had obviously taken as she had the phone lying flat on a table and looked down at it from different angles. I envisioned that if all of the photos had been compiled into one, it would look as if she were in a football huddle with several versions of herself.

And then she took a long, long break from taking photos with my phone. I didn't even realize I'd missed inadvertently stumbling across some photo she'd taken until it stopped. Suddenly, I wished I'd kept a few along the way instead of deleting them to save disk space.

Last weekend, though, I found this image on my phone:

phony bear purse daughter toys
A still life of my daughter's toys.

Unlike the other photos, this one seems less spontaneous, and that's why it's one of my favorites. I like that she looked around her room, found a handful of toys that she wanted in the photo and positioned them on her toy box as if she were staging a still life for a drawing class. She had taken several version of this display, too, as if she were trying to find the best angle.

Also, unlike the others I found on my phone, I'm keeping these.

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