Then Sarah was born and pictures were even more rare. I was always in the hospital, so the pictures I had were rarely good. Lighting is not good for photography in hospitals. Even if I got good pictures, when could I post them? I was either at home and insanely busy or I was in the hospital with spotty internet.
Then things started to settle down. I was not in the habit of posting them, so I didn't, at least not often.
Then an awful thing happened to one of my new friends on facebook. Pictures of her beautiful little girl were stolen and captioned with horrible captions. That gorgeous baby's pictures went viral captioned in ways that would make any mother cry. I did not think of myself as being a frightened so much as being protective, but I consciously stopped posting pictures. It did not make a huge difference, since I had not been posting many anyway.
The mother of that baby did not cower in the corner. She stood up for her baby. She confronted the bully who had stolen the pictures on his twitter account. She repeatedly called him out. She contacted Twitter and Facebook, demanding that the offensive pictures be taken down. The bully was unrepentant. Twitter and Facebook denied responsibility. It was a nightmare. So she went public. She created an account and attracted a huge following of supporters. She contacted local media. She speaks proudly about her daughter and is not intimidated by the bullies.
I was intimidated.
My experiences with my Sarah have been mostly positive, or at least not negative. People don't always know how to act, but I can count on one hand the number of times someone has been deliberately offensive. (Two, if you must know. Mom's do not forget these encounters. Both times the aggressor backed off when I spoke up.) What would I do if thousands of people were laughing at a picture of my baby? Seeing someone else's baby attacked in that way hurt awfully. It was very hard to keep believing in humanity when an attack on a three month old gets a few hundred thousand likes.
But, there are also lots of uplifting pictures all over the internet. The one I saw today was of an incredibly cute little girl, apparently with Down's syndrome, captioned, "See, the thing is, I have a really awesome life and there's no prenatal test for that."
Then I saw a study that says that exposure changes attitudes. The study showed that kids who spend time with kids who have disabilities are more empathetic towards kids with disabilities. That's a mouthful of obvious. Still it was what I needed to face my fear.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:14-16
No more hiding the light. My daughters are beautiful.
I will share pictures.