Take Pictures, Build Moments

From the moment I stepped into the role of a parent it has been a whirlwind through time and space. As each bundle of joy came along I’ve found that the whirlwind just got faster and faster. The days start flying by and most of the time we’re playing catch up.

When I did stop to take a minute to catch my breath and look back on where the last year had gone I found these little moments. Small moments that I had spent with the kids like, Christmas morning, them opening a birthday present, seeing them get their first hit in baseball, or a time we had a good laugh, like when my son wanted to be a pickle for Halloween…

And as I look back on these moments I realized that I’m only really remembering a small portion of that moment. I’m remembering a small fragment of what really happened and I can’t help but think for that whole year that went past, I’ve only got this handful of moments to look back on?

I decided that wasn’t enough for me. I felt that if a whole year had gone by I should have more moments than just the handful I could pull off from the top of my head. So I made two changes to give myself more to look back on in life:

  1. I started taking pictures. Allllllllllll the pictures. I figured if I was going to have more moments to look back on I needed to capture more of them.
  2. Every couple of months, my wife and I would print our pictures and put them into a scrap book.

This had profound affect on how I looked back on my life and how I shared my life with others. Instead of this handful of fleeting moments I could hardly remember I had an entire book to represent my life. Each picture, each moment, brought on a wave of additional memories that I would have so easily forgotten without the picture to capture the moment.

I noticed that digital pictures didn’t quite have this same affect. I think part of the reason is that when we are building the scrap book of our lives we are much more selective of what moments make the cut. Not every picture can land in the book, there’s just not enough room, but the best of the best always seem to make it.

Now you might be thinking, “Wow, you made a scrap book, let’s hold a parade! Big deal…” and you’re right. It’s just a scrap book. Front and back cover with a stack of pictures in between… but what I hope, what I hope this book becomes is something more than that.

When I sit down with my kids and flip through the pictures from time-to-time I hope that it reminds them of where they came from. I hope that they remember those moments like I do and I hope that it fills them with love and inspiration. I hope that it motivates them like it motivates me and someday, someday long in the future when I’m not around… I hope that my kids open that book, look back, and say, “I remember this picture, I remember Dad always taking me for bike rides” and “I remember this game, I remember Dad always making it to every practice and game.”

And then I hope they pass building that scrap book on to their kids.

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