Growing up I hated posing for pictures. Everywhere we’d go my parents would want to snap a picture of the rest of my family and me. I didn’t understand it, did we really need proof that we ate together at Burger King on March 14th, 1993? As a child I was fidgety, and as a teen, I was cynical and viewed everything as pointless.
So why am I writing this to tell you to take pictures of your children?
The simple answer is this, things change. To begin with, I’m not the person I was back then. Age and experience have given me a sense of calm and perspective. Now I appreciate how painless it is to take a minute or two to snap a picture.
But I’m not the only thing that has changed, my family has also changed. My parents are still as lovable as ever but they’ve got a little less hair, and what’s left is a lot more gray. Don’t think I’m being hard on them, I’m starting to feel the weight of the aging process myself. And besides, I’ve learned that there are worse things than growing older. I know that whenever I look at pictures of family members who won’t be celebrating birthdays this year.
Just about every day I wish I had a time machine that would take me back to the good old days. But time machines don’t exist, and chances are they won’t be invented in my lifetime. Those photos my family took of me growing up are the closest thing I’ll ever get to touch the past and my loved ones who no longer exist in the present.
When I was a child, my family talked about what they’d do if there were a fire. They talked about how if they’d begin by helping me and my brother get out, and then they’d get the photo album. I thought they were insane! What about the toys and the TV? But now I understand. Most things can be replaced. Photos can’t because they’re not really “things,” they’re memories. And memories are irreplaceable.
Taking photos of your children isn’t always easy. Children can be fussy, photos can turn out poorly, and sometimes you just won’t want to bother pulling out your camera and snapping a pic. That’s completely understandable! Being a parent is tiring work during the best of times. But you should keep in mind that someday the busy times will pass by.
It might be difficult to imagine when you’ve got a toddler running around, but someday they will grow up into an adult and move out on their own. Things might be hectic now, but there will be a day when you and your child look back and wish that you could recapture some of the old magic.
The future comes fast, and even the best memories fade. Some things do persist, but as time goes by precious memories will slip from your grasp. To preserve these memories for yourself and your children nothing beats taking the time to snap a picture or two.