I am having a very nostalgic evening, flicking through old photographs of the kids and enjoying the memories of all of the happy moments that were captured. Was my boy ever so small? Was his hair ever that long? He is only 6 months old in this photograph, and he was born with that mop of hair, although it was jet black at first. I knitted that striped jumper for him because his hair reminded me of Dennis the Menace! My girl won’t let me plait her hair anymore, and she rarely lets me take her photo either, even from the back! They grow up so quickly, blink and you really do miss it.
I have photo albums from when I was a baby, faded pictures of bowl haircuts and hand-me-down dungarees, with dreadful carpets and wallpaper in every shot. I can turn the pages and move from birthday party to Christmas morning, Holy Communion to summers on the beach. When someone picks up the big photo albums for a look, people gather round and share stories, giggle at bad hair days and long-forgotten moustaches on various male relatives.
I don’t have that for my children, and it is my own fault. It has often been said; people don’t print their photographs anymore, and it is a terrible shame. It is great to have a digital camera and know that the images have been captured and safely stored, but I want my children to have what I had – a big book. Just a simple scrapbook with big thick pages where I can stick their photos, an album that they can lift down off the shelf and enjoy every now and then. I imagine them sharing stories of their own in a few years, laughing at my haircuts and clothes, remembering scrapes on knees and knitted stripey jumpers. I think it is time to get these beautiful memories off the hard drive and into a big book.