Lots of Pictures...Lots and Lots of Pictures...
The flood of family photos in summer is almost impossible to keep up to. What with a photo happy wife, and an iPhone, and still another smart phone with photo taking capabilities, every summer we're inundated with photo worthy moments from the eyes of two different people. It translates into a lot of photos...a lot.
It's not that we think our kids are any more worthy of photos than the next family, it's just that we've got the inclination to snap a lot of photos, and we'll be damned if we don't have about a billion pics of these funsters as they age. Every day slips by so fast, and four will be fourteen before we're even ready. In fact, we're pretty astonished at the people who aren't snapping a hundred photos a day. There's a camera on every cell phone. How are you not snap snapping away?
We can spend countless hours just flipping through the thousands of images that we store on Flickr or that we have on CD. We remember things that we hadn't thought about, or had forgotten. We use them to mark time, and remind us of all of the amazing things that we've been so lucky to do over the years. The photos can pull us out of funks, adjust our priorities, send us off zipping in a new, fun direction. They're therapeutic. They're a visual narration of our lives and it seems impossible now to not have them. What would we have been thinking not to overwhelm our camera's memory cards with memories? We'd have been fools. The best moments in life rush past us when we're not even looking, so what if we're always looking?
Sometimes we feel as though we live our lives on too much of an island. Never venturing too far or with too much vigor to pull others into our world...not desperate to spend giant gobs of time with extended family and friends, not too eager to tilt the cart on this good thing that we've got. We struggle with it because we're family oriented people, but we've come to really value the intimate moments of "just us," and to understand the enormity of building a proper little team to face the world. We see it in out photos...just us...and we laugh, sometimes, at the imbalance of it, but still, we perpetuate it. Us versus the world. We don't cultivate it enthusiastically, but we don't fight the natural alignment of things either. We certainly don't hesitate to photograph it.
Is the "us vs. them" attitude a negative one, I suppose you could make your arguments, but it's not forced...it just is...and so we embrace the somewhat natural isolation of being a young family. Sure, there are friends with kids, and yes, there are grandparents and Aunts and Uncles, but mostly there's just us. We live in a city with no family. We have few friends here, or at least, few rock solid ancient friends, and we go about our business knowing that at the end of each day it's the four of us in this house. We go to sleep and wake up under the same roof, and when we are sick, or celebrating, or anything in between, it's us. We have a lot of photos because we spend a lot of time together. I see the by-product of te exact opposite all day long when I go to work.
I wish I had the photos of my childhood like Zoey and Maggie will have, and I wish I had more of the us vs. them in my own life growing up. I didn't. These girls will, and there'll be photo albums full of memories to prove it.