Three weeks ago, we rushed through dinner, said goodbye to Mark and jumped in the car. It was Annalyn’s last night at Awana, and we had to get there early for a program. She had her vest and a new skirt, and I was armed with not one, not two, but three cameras.

After dropping her off at her classroom, I headed to the auditorium to stake out the best seat with the best view. Of course, I had no idea where she’d end up standing on the big stage, so I just sat by my friends. As we chatted and watched a slide show of photos, I fiddled with my cameras.

I had my Nikon DSLR, my shiny new smartphone with camera and a new-to-me Flip video camera. I knew how to work one of them well.

When Annalyn’s class walked into the auditorium, they sat in the section next to me. I was able to snap a cute picture of her walking by – and then I was able to hear her say, “Hey! Mommy! Here I am! Mommy!” over and over for the next 45 minutes.

I thought I’d picked the prime seat, but of course, when she walked on stage with her fellow students, she ended up on the complete opposite side of the stage. No problem, I thought, and I walked up to find a seat in the front row that was reserved for Parents with Cameras.

Juggling my three cameras, I realized all the seats were taken, so I plopped down on the floor in front of the stage. I snapped a few photos with my DSLR, made sure my camera app was pulled up on my phone and practiced hitting the record button on my Flip one more time. As I was looking through the lens of my camera, waiting for the perfect shot (and mentally debating whether it would be quicker to do camera first, phone second or vice versa), I noticed my sweet little girl grabbing the front of her skirt.

And by “grabbing the front of her skirt,” I mean she was making the universal sign for “I’ve gotta go!”

Being the concerned mom I am, I decided to ignore it. I was certain she wouldn’t be on stage long and surely she could just hold it. Oh no. She could not. What she could do, however, was yell down to me, “Mommy! I’ve got to go potty!”

Yeah, that was MY kid.

I asked her, as quietly as I could (not that I was fooling anybody), “Can you just wait?”

Of course, you know what she said. “No! I’ve got to go BAD!”

Right. Right. Of course she did.

Thankfully, her teachers are used to dealing with 4-year-olds and called her name first. As she walked across the stage – to the OTHER end of the stage, of course – I fumbled my stupid cameras, trying to get a shot of something, anything.

That’s when I realized that my DSLR battery was dead. And my camera’s flash wasn’t nearly strong enough for the lighting in that room. And the Flip? Oh, please. After I’d missed getting the potty announcement on video, what on earth was the point in trying to catch a two-second hand-off of a certificate?

In the end I did get a few cute photos. And I recorded the 37-second song she sang with her class to show her dad. But overall, it was pretty much one technology fail after another.

And really, it was kind of a mom fail. Because when my little girl wanted to talk later about the song she sang, I could not for the life of me remember anything about it. And all the nice words her teachers said about her class and their hard work during the year? Yeah, I missed that, too. I was so busy trying to capture the big night that I missed those important moments. And, since I bombed the videotaping part of the evening, I can’t even refer back to the video for the details that are so much more important than posting another cute pic on Instagram.

I’d love to tell you that I’ve learned my lesson about missing life’s moments when I try so desperately to capture them on film (or whatever today’s digital equivalent of film is). But I’m going to be honest. Annalyn’s preschool program is tonight, and I’m taking all three cameras with me.

I’ve got a better strategy, though. First of all, my camera battery is charged. Second of all, the phone is staying in my purse. And third, I’m only videotaping the songs. Then it’s just me, my camera and my kiddo.

Hmmm. Maybe that should be me, my kiddo and my camera?

Have you ever tried to hard to capture a moment on film [or whatever] that you missed it entirely?

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