What's going on around here? Nothing much. And that is a good thing. The highlights of the new year for us have consisted of minimal kitchen backsplash tiling, two episodes of Downton Abbey, lots of fireside reading in the evenings, and some garden planning for the spring. Pretty exciting if you ask me. One of the things I have enjoyed the most lately is learning how to use my new Canon Rebel T3. Taylor's parents gave it to me for Christmas. I felt like such a lucky girl when I opened it and have had so much fun figuring it out.
One wet afternoon last week, I put Avery in her first pair of rain boots to go outside so I could practice shooting. Getting to know my new camera has been a blessing. I have always snapped constantly on my iPhone, but this is different. The quality and the art are so much better.
I have always loved pictures because they bring me joy. My mom and Granny can vouch for me here. Photos capture memories that are precious. Since before I can remember, I've poured over pictures at my grandparents' house, committing their stories to memory- old family portraits, yearbooks, snapshots. Sometimes pictures so old they were tin-type. It was precious time spent with family members, hearing about their lives, essentially meeting ancestors that were gone long before I was even born. Photographs from the past build a history for a person and and a family to pass onto future generations.
And then there are the pictures of myself- the ones my parents have of my sister and I in shoeboxes stacked in a closet at their house. Those helped me discover things about myself that I couldn't remember. Like how I broke my wrist at age two, or how I've always loved reading, even before I could actually read.
Want to make your child feel loved? Sit down and flip through a bunch of their old pictures. Tell them what you see, what you remember. Trust me. The process of recounting what life was like for you when they came into it will show them what sometimes words cannot. The stories you tell to them about the things they are too young to remember will make them laugh (or horrify them:), and will give them a better understanding of how they came to be who they are. For me, this has always been the meaning of the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words".
When I take pictures now, I imagine that I am capturing and building that same record of existence, happiness, and love for the future. That someday when I am old, I will look back at the pictures I've taken and they will enable me to remember some of the things I've forgotten- what my wedding dress looked like, exactly what year we bought our first house, which was Avery's first Christmas, how much fun we had on family vacations, or even just little play dates in the front yard . I hope that I can sit on the floor with my children and grand-children to explain the who, when, and where of the pictures they are looking at. I hope that the pictures I have take will be cherished by my family and continue to build a history for my loved ones.