- I do not have wedding photos on my walls, nor do I have an album, nor do any of our parents (long story). We’ve been married 15 years.
- Neither of my boys has a baby book. I forgot to write down their first words. I do not save baby teeth. I started a pregnancy journal but it has two entries. I might have first haircut locks of hair in a bin somewhere though.
- There are no photo albums or scrapbooks in our house.
- I have eight years of unsorted, untagged, and unedited digital photos on my computer. (After a scare last year I at least have an external drive plus cloud backup now.)
- I erase memory cards as soon as I download photos. (I’ve become aware some people actually save these, like negatives. Huh. Never occurred to me.)
- There’s a box of video on 8mm tapes somewhere in my house. I think. It’s all of Owen. Sorry Noah.
But here’s something I do do — I make my boys pose for first day of school photos in the same place in our yard, and then I make them pose in front of the school on the last day. No matter what I have to do to bribe, cajole, or force, we get these photos. And by some miracle, I actually found them all on my computer. (Thank you, Picasa face recognition and search.)
Since PicMonkey is super fun, and because I’m weepy and nostalgic about Owen finishing elementary school this year after eight years at Randolph Heights, I was inspired to make these collages. I love them, Owen loves them, and at least we’ll have this for his high school graduation party, if I never manage to collect or properly record anything else.
First days of school
Last days of school. We didn’t start these until first grade.
My sister is a professional photographer and she has written beautifully about how she felt as a child, seeing photos of herself on the wall and in books and how that inspires her work. (My grandparents were also photographers, my mom had everything — everything — professionally framed, and my parents scrapbooked with captions and thought bubbles long before it was a thing.) My sister says that the presence of photos made her feel wanted and that she belonged. That she was valued. That she was loved.
I don’t think we have to do everything — every journal, photo, scrapbook, shadowbox, video, or collage — but it is good to do at least one or two things and do them consistently. Otherwise you’ll have to live without this, and I for one need this in my life.