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Monday, December 28, 2009

Squandered Memories?

When hubby and I were young and didn’t have kiddos, I thought photos were over-rated, that they somehow cheapened or damaged the authenticity of our experiences. Everybody’s angling for the perfect pose. Even the candids are not so candid, if you know what I mean. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just live the experience and remember it forever in your head, unadulterated by anything that comes afterwards?

But you can’t really, can you? The other day hubby was saying that in his mind Mary is always 5, David is always 9, Peter is always 4 and the baby is, well always the baby. In other words, they are always exactly as they are right now. There’s a timelessness, as if nobody was ever younger than they are right now. Oh, yes, there are memories of first steps and late night feedings and riding bikes for the first time, but these memories seem like dim shadows compared to the here and now. Photographs can be a way to relive some of those moments. True, it’s not really the same as that actual moment in time, but it is a way of bringing back some clarity and of being able to share the moment with someone.

I spend a fair amount of time each year trying to capture the children in their many moods through images to share with their grandparents, creating scrapbooks and photo albums. I don’t spend much time sharing those images with our children. I’ve put together exactly one photo album for ourselves---David’s baby album! The rest of our photos languish in various boxes, on cds and on the computer. Every once in a while one of those old photos pops up in a moving box and I stop to share it with everyone and we remember…I realize now that not having those pictures in a format that allows us to “visit” with them is a mistake. But not a mistake that can’t be fixed (at least I still have the pictures). So, my first resolution for the new year: to organize those photos into albums. Maybe I’ll start with our wedding photos?

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