Here are my top 5 favorite memories of life with with my 5 year old so far:
Holding him in my arms for the first time after a long and traumatic labor.
Swinging on our porch swing together every afternoon for most of the summer he was 3.
Chasing the ice cream truck around the neighborhood on our bikes and laughing hysterically until it finally stopped.
Taking naps together in his twin bed when I was pregnant with our second.
Cuddling him in my lap while he asked, tears streaming down his cheeks, if after our spirits go to heaven they ever come back.
Not one of these memories has a photo to tell the story. I just have a vague picture in my mind and good feelings that I hope I’ll hold in my heart forever. That’s the way the best moments are. They usually don’t have space for picture taking because they demand your full presence.
We take pictures to help us remember and some of us feel more compelled by this calling than others. I am obsessed with record keeping. I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve been that way since I was very young. The first book I made of my photographs was in 5th grade. I documented trips to the lake with family, my friends and the things that were important to me. I still have this book and many many more that I have made over the course of my life. The books help me remember where I have been and inform my sense of self. But not every moment gets a photograph. And it’s those undocumented moments, the ones we hold in our hearts, that often make our top 5 lists.
The other night after dinner we went sledding in the dark. It was such a special treat (for both of us) and an exciting departure from our usual evening routine, that I know it will be another moment that sticks with me. We raced under the moonlight, squealing and giggling. The little hill never felt so fast. Before returning to our warm, cozy house, I took this one of him under the streetlight. If I ever forget the sledding, at least I’ll have this one to remind me.