stored treasures

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.

day 24 slice of life challenge, 2021.
Read more slices here.

11 thoughts on “stored treasures

  1. This slice shows so much love. Each photo is so precious because of who is in it but also that moment back in time. I love your creative solution to place them randomly throughout your notebook. Enjoy the surprises when you turn a page!

  2. I need a Claire in my life! I think your solution is just right. The pictures mean more to you than anyone. They may even become writing prompts.

  3. Oh my goodness! I love this! I have been wanting to tackle this project, but no idea where to begin. At least you were smart enough to get your photos into a book from the start. I have them in boxes and four different photo drives. My children are of the age from start to finish we had photos from film cameras, early digital cameras, more advanced digital cameras, and phones. Yep, it’s a hot mess!

    Good luck! It sounds like you are on your way to a good fix!

  4. I really appreciate the content of this slice but also the excellent craft moves here – setting aside the three paragraphs indeed forces me to consider each one alongside you. Your line of “I can’t let these go” is heart wrenching and true. Thanks for sharing, I can see going through the same process soon. 🙂

  5. As I’ve been sorting through my office, I have come across photos and don’t know what to do with them too. I can’t convince myself to throw them away. What a great project for your daughter to help with.

  6. ❤️ ❤️ This just gets me, as thinking about the adult flash-forward reality against the then of early motherhood. We have a box of thousands of black and white photos from my son’s earliest months. I know I need to get rid of them, but I’ll probably leave them for my son to deal with. They mean too much to me.

  7. I was screaming NOOOOOO! to the idea of throwing photos away, because of the chronology problem!! So relieved you didn’t, and that you found such a lovely way to preserve them.

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