My adult children love looking at old pictures of themselves.Trouble is the albums they’re housed in are so old, the pictures are in danger of being destroyed or lost.
As my daughter flipped through them this Christmas, I mentioned my plans to redo them. This was enough to get her to offer to reconstruct the books. A perfect task for someone who takes huge pleasure in labeling and organization.
The project began by upgrading the drug-store purchased three-ring binder albums, to leather bound ones. Pricy, but hey it’s the family history. Over the last few days, pictures are being transplanted to the new beautiful books. Half of the collection now in six volumes. Five hundred, or so, pictures to go.
Trouble is there is a growing stack of photos that are found after a certain time period has been completed. Inserting them now would cause a disturbing detour in the chronology.
“I’m sure you have a duplicate of these in there somewhere,” she said handing me a stack of the now homeless pictures. “Or something like them. Why don’t you throw them out?”
I glance at the photos and set them on my desk.
Hours later, I return. The pictures of my oldest stare up at me.
i consider each one.
In his stroller, hat on his head ready for a great adventure with his grandma. A memory of their close relationship.
In his new bunk bed, covered by a blanket that will became threadbare, he’s ready for bed. It is his alone. Bins of picture books are at the foot. At that moment, we didn’t know it would be shared with his younger brother once his sister is born.
In rain boots and shorts, a firefighter’s plastic helmet and my father’s gardening gloves, he waves at the camera. A stegosaurus at his side.
I can’t let these go.
I consider putting them in my desk. Then, I notice my notebook, perhaps put them at the next clean page.
I think again and place each picture at a random spot in the journal. A treasure to find again when I’m in the mood for reflection.