The importance of family.

The people in my life and how they have influenced me.

Pictures hold so many memories…

on June 18, 2013

I have spent the morning with a friend looking back over pictures of my children as babies. They grow up far too quickly. We have been laughing about how bald my daughter was until she was about two years old, chuckling at my sons chubby cheeks and his multiple chins. There were pictures of all their ‘firsts’: smile, unaided sitting, weaning, crawling. Funny things like having pots and pans on their heads and the embarrassing pictures of them using the potty that all parents keep as ammunition to show first boyfriends and girlfriends. I can’t imagine my children being old enough for a boyfriend or girlfriend! It makes me feel so old. Every parent says that their children grow so quickly. My mother used to say it about me and I didn’t realise how true it was until my daughter was born five years ago.

My children’s lives have been documented to such a degree that I have thousands of pictures all stored across different media types; on my phone, a USB drive, the laptop, good ol’ fashioned prints in an album, on the wall, in frames. Everywhere. I must take at least one picture every day. I do ask myself sometimes if I take too many but I just can’t stop. Why do I do it? Maybe deep down I feel the need to preserve their youth. I know when they reach their teenage years they will shy away from the camera instead of posing and performing as they do now. I need to keep my memories alive. I need to recreate that moment in my head, remind myself how I was feeling at that particular moment. The pride you feel when your child does something new or funny. When I take that pictures I am momentarily pausing time.

I don’t really have many good, fun memories of my childhood. I can remember a few holidays and a few really poignant moments but not really any of the little, random things most people remember and take for granted. We get complacent about our lives and often we are only reminded of something when looking back over pictures. All the best memories I have aren’t from when I was with family and that makes me feel quite sad.

Technology today allows us to document our own lives, and our children’s, so much more than in the past. My mum doesn’t have many photos of us, not half as many as I do already, and I often wonder how many good memories are stored in her head. Is it better to have them privately stored in your brain-bank than it is to have them there in front of you? Nobody can see inside your head, nobody can see the pain that goes with bad memories and nobody can see the joy from the good. She never really talks of any and I sometimes think the bad has totally outweighed the good for her.

I would love to see a picture of my mum truly happy, truly smiling. I’m not sure one exists…



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