It’s been a wet and dreary fall here in the middle Midwest. Our weather has not been conducive to outdoorsy projects. When its not raining, the ground is too soft to work outside. So, I’ve been looking for something to focus on, lasting for more than 30 minutes, within the confines of my abode.
We have a number of computers in our house and as we pass by, we get a chance to reflect on the screen saver, family pictures, saved from our digital cameras. And so it came to me. We have family photo albums with pictures of our children taken before the age of digitation. What better thing to do on inclement days, than scan in pictures, copy them to a couple computers and a backup device!
And so it began. I decided NOT to begin with our first year of marriage but with 1975, the year of the birth of our first child. It began well, this project, the first year or so of the photo albums. Pictures were scanned from Instamatic and Polaroid cameras. Then I hit 1980, the year of my first 35mm camera. There must have been over 500 pictures! I have now made it through 1982, past the last of our children’s’ births and thankfully, it’s stopped raining! I get a break.
So I’ve come the standard realization, that we used to look very young. We not only looked young, we were young, more powerful than a locomotive, able to reach falling children in a single bound, we were awesome.
I have come to a second realization. I’m looking closely at the pictures that I’m scanning, children and relatives whose names I can’t remember. Yes, yesterdays pictures were children, todays pictures are sunsets and hummingbirds. My how our subjects change when the kids leave home.
I’m the early riser in the family, usually up between 4:30 and 5:30AM. I watch the local, repetitive news, ok, sometimes I doze by the third time the same story is told. I usually begin making the coffee by 7 and have our breakfast ready by 7:30. My wife and I then sit in the front room talking, drinking coffee and conversing about those things we forgot to mention yesterday or was that the day before? (Sometimes we tell the same things over, like the repetitive news!)
In one of our morning conversing sessions, we reflected upon those nostalgic pictures, and began sharing concerns for the things our children were going through and what type of world our grandchildren will be inheriting. We shuddered to think of the turmoil they will have.
Then I shared this third realization. We continue to focus on our children and their children, just as our parents continually focused on us. Our entire existence was caring for, and raising our children. In fact even though our children have left home, we still want to care for them, step in and guide, BUT, those days are mostly over. Our children are adults, caring for and going through the decision processes of raising their children. They are looking forward at their children, not back at the parents. It’s not a bad thing, they are just busy, as we were, raising our family.
Life is good. Life is what you make of it. We are enjoying what we are doing at this stage of life. But over that cup of coffee, we realized that while we were raising our family we were having the Time of Our Lives.
Wonder who will want these thousands of scanned in pictures??