Last night Andy replaced the computer chip in our camera. We had been without one for an entire week, when our usual habit is to grab it off the shelf whenever the mood strikes, and snap away. Andy says that somehow the old one ended up in the Bermuda Triangle. I think it was an early senior moment, or perhaps the sleep-deprived, postpartum forgetfulness which happens both to men and women.
Over the last week there were so many times when I said, “Oh I wish we could find the chip for our camera….” Gwenna made her first trip to the beach, Charles marched in his first parade as a Cub Scout, and Gwenna had her first bath since her cord fell off. It was only a week but we did miss some of those firsts. I am sure we can capture other beach trips and parades. They won’t be first time events, but they will still hold wonderful memories and stories.
What is sad is that we also were not able to capture the everyday events, the ones that are just the fabric of life: the boys reading to each other and to Naomi. Gwenna all in pink snuggled up and sleeping on her daddy’s chest while he in his pink shirt slept as well. It is the fleeting memory and no pictures of these events that I mourn. Could I have captured the precious moments with just words? I am not sure. Some of it, certainly; but the pictures are also part of the truth of how it was. How can I get the whole story, words and pictures both? How do I look for memories in the everyday?
When Naomi was a baby and experiencing many of her firsts I would quickly jot down the experience on a card. Of course many of these events are accompanied with pictures. But more and more I am longing to get the story behind today, as it happens. There are events that I don’t want to loose, phrases I want to cherish long after they have been said. I don’t want to forget that Charles called the cheeks on his back end his “muffaloes.” When Alex has children someday, I want to tell him that he wanted to know early what his sisters’ names where, so that he could say good night to them by name before they were born. I want to be able to relive with Joseph one of his B.O.F. (Brain on Fire with ideas) moments. I want to share with Naomi how sincere and solemn she was when she was able to ask for “Chok-at, peez!” And our Gwenna loved her first bath in the hospital and continues to enjoy them here at home.
I guess that I need to become more disciplined in grabbing these every day moments. Here’s how: Remember those cards? They are photo-safe and ready to put in an album. They need to be in easy reach, as our camera is easy to reach on it’s perch in the kitchen, to encourage my family to celebrate not only the firsts but also the everyday moments in our life. So now we have a Treasures Journal Jar, sitting in easy reach in the kitchen. I (and other family members, too!) can grab a card at any time and jot down our notes on the everyday. When I sit down later to assemble an album page, the words will be there.
Here’s to the memories!