My grandson Connor just celebrated his 5th birthday. His cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents were there enjoying the company of family, eating and taking pictures. He blew out his candles, ate his decorated Star Wars cake and opened many gifts. Connor had the time of his life-at least for this week:)
I got to thinking about this birthday; will he remember it when he is grown up? I don't remember my 5th birthday. I do have vague recollections of my 6th but I tend to think it's because I have a picture of me wearing my pretty light blue dress. But then again, that picture is in black and white so how did I recall the color of my dress? Pictures do that; they help you remember things.
Photographs are like building blocks for your memory, preserving the past and keeping good records of your life. Sometimes they show unflattering memories;like the one where you look terrible and someone says, "Pictures don't lie..." (Uggh, I hate that quote!) Then there is the photo that you think you look pretty darn good:) and someone remarks, "Oh, that just doesn't look like you at all!" (probably the same person--You just can't win with some people!)
Speaking of Connor, there is one memory that I do not have a picture of. It is the day when my daughter brought her firstborn home and I went to spend a few days with them to help them get settled. That first night was no different than most babies first nights; between feedings and diaper changes there was little time for my daughter to rest. Everytime she would lay him down he would wake up;it seemed as though he would only sleep if he was held.
By midnight she was so emotionally tired I told her to go to bed and let me take care of him. Amidst tears of feeling like a "bad mom" for not being able to do it all, I calmly and lovingly told her "This is one thing I can do for you,so get a few hours sleep while you can;you will have a lifetime of staying up with him and the rest of your life being a Mom":)
Sitting in the darkened living room with only the street light shining through the crack of the window curtain, baby Connor and I rocked in the glidder, back and forth. As I cuddled him over my shoulder and quietly sang songs to him he nestled in and slept without care or worry. We spent the whole night that way, with me occasionally closing my eyes and resting my head on the headrest. Just me and him... It is a memory that I hold close to my heart and no camera could capture the special warmth of that night. I am the only one who will forever keep that "picture" --in my memory.
I often tell him that story, and he thinks that's pretty nice and with a hug he rubs in the kiss I give him, and runs off for another adventure--Just the way it should be.