Category Archives: Parenting

Photos vs. Memories

Why do we take photos?  I ask rhetorically because everyone takes pictures for different reasons.  Personally, I take pictures for so many reasons.  Some pictures are just to see the beauty of an object.  Some photos are to see if I can get that difficult or cool shot that I imagined trying to get.  And other photos are to remember events.  I even try to scrapbook occasionally as an added way to remember events.

Memories are funny.  I can remember various events and things in my life back to around when I was 3 years old.  Yet, I sometimes forget aspects of events that occurred just a week ago.   I take photos in the hopes that not only will I remember an event or moment, but that I will remember all the nuances of that event including the emotion that went along with it.

My son, however much he loves looking at photos, does not NEED to look at them.  Somehow, at almost 3, his memory is far better than mine is.  Is that because he has less memories to try to remember?  Or is he just one of those people with a great memory?  Only time will tell.  Currently, I can show him places that we’ve only been to one time and he almost always remembers the place and has a comment about what we did or who we were with.  That amazes me, because in some cases, were it not for the photos, I would probably have forgotten the event completely.

I love taking walks with my son and having him help me find things to take pictures of.  These walks are events in themselves.  We don’t always find good things to take pictures of, but every once in a while we will find a great opportunity.  One of those was the pic below.  I was taking pictures from “adult” height, when he told me to “look up” and then pointed.  From his height, the view of the flowers was even more stunning than my view.  It was amazing to me that I had to hear it from him to realize that I was not considering all vantage points when taking pics.  It certainly is a lesson and event that I won’t soon forget!

And that brings me to my next concern.  Am I taking too many pictures and not enjoying the moment?  Sometimes I see it in my son’s eyes (or even my husband’s eyes);  a look like, “put the camera down and just come enjoy this time.”  And most of the time I do, because  I don’t want him to only have pictures of himself playing alone or with daddy and no memories of me playing with him or the two of them.   I want there to be a rich combination of mental images as well as digital images for him to remember all the fun we have together.  He won’t get both types of memories if I fail to put the camera down…and that is something else worth remembering!

My son's view of the flowers
My son’s view of the flowers
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Doing

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An unused child’s chair, an empty cup, and empty shoes.

Where is the boy who should be sitting in his chair, wearing his shoes and asking for a refill of his drink?

Riding his tricycle, spinning, sliding, swinging,

Throwing some balls, chasing, yelling, prodding,

Picking some flowers, poking, pretending, jumping,

Exploring his world, running, laughing, playing.

Learning.

Doing exactly what he should be doing.

The empty chair, cup and shoes are a testament to a toddler who is discovering his environment.

And a testament to his mother who gave up asking him to sit in the chair for a nice photo a long time ago!

It is a joy to see the wonder and excitement when something new is catching his attention.

Last week it was yellow phase dandelions, this week it is “fuzzy” phase dandelions, next week it could be anything.

I do not, for one second, regret that he has not paused long enough to sit down in his blue chair for a nice photo with his drink and Lego Crocs!

I can’t wait to partake in his next adventure!