My husband recently reminded me that we should start gathering photos to display at our son's high school graduation celebration.
Even though part of me wanted to delay this task in hopes that it would postpone the event, I knew my husband was right. It was time to look for photos.
Most of my children's photos from the early days are still in boxes. Some are arranged by year; some have writing on the back; some are actually in albums. We took those photos with film and had them developed at local stores. Remember the drop-off boxes for 35mm film? I used those all the time for the countless photos I took. I wanted to capture every memory.
Digital cameras were created for people like me who need a computer to organize their photos. How wonderful it is to take photos at an event, download the photos to a computer and then share them with others without having to print a thing.
I've started scanning old photos into my computer so I can share those as well. I am enjoying the task because warm memories come flooding back in the process.
As I was looking through some of the older photos this week, I came across a precious one of my dad helping my daughter find Easter eggs in his yard. She was about 2, and he was pointing under a bush to help her find colorful treasures for her bucket. That bucket was almost as big as she was.
Some Easter Sunday mornings we took family shots of us all dressed up, but some Easters we were too rushed trying to get out the door to church. I wish I had a photo from every Easter of all four of us taken at the same spot in our house.
This wish led me to think of all the families with little ones who might appreciate some suggestions for photos to capture through the years.
Here are some of the things we did to capture memories:
First day of school — We always take this photo on the front porch. It is amazing how the kids have grown over the years. This year for the first time in 10 years, I will have only one child in the photo because my son will be at college as my daughter starts her freshman year of high school. (Don't blink. It will happen to you sooner than you think.)
Family members in their elements — I like to capture family members doing the things they enjoy. I cherish the photo we have of my grandfather on his tractor, his favorite place to be.
Babies being held by family members — These always make precious shots and not necessarily because of the cute babies. These help adults remember the people who lovingly cared for us when we were small.
Photos with geographic identifiers in the background — At a recent volleyball tournament, I wanted to capture the Kutztown University sign in the background so we could remember where the photo was taken. My daughter was amused at my concern of possibly not remembering where we were.
Once she has as many memories as I do, she'll understand the need to make the process as simple as possible.
Now, back to gathering photos for graduation — thank goodness I started early. Perhaps I'll be able to finish within the next two months.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.