Saturday, February 26, 2011

The joy in their faces

 With my son just 16 months from High School graduation I have been busy creating a "this is your life" photo situation. I have nice shutterfly albums for all the years I have digital photos. Those photos are all on my computer in neat dated files. While I might not know exactly what is going on in all of them 15 years from now I will be able to tell you exactly how old we all were when it happened. Not so the paper photos. Although some do have a date on them I have a series with 12/31/89 on them which seems unlikely since it was 5 years before Jake was born and we are wearing shorts in some of them.  I did seem to occasionally jot down a date or at least year and occasionally the occasion but mostly I couldn't imagine I wouldn't recall every detail of my sons life for the rest of his life.

Turns out I can't.
 I did manage to get the albums in a somewhat obvious chronological order (hey I do have them in albums) but unfortunately I put them in the albums about once every 2 years and I just grabbed the pile of photos and started stuffing so within the albums there is no real order. And remember how we used to get doubles of all our pictures? I am finding repeats of pictures in different albums.

Having decided to do a thematic approach to Jake's life rather than a chronological approach, today I started pulling pictures out of albums and looking for themes. You know, like birthday, holidays, covered in mud, naked...You know, themes.

As I was going through those pictures of my 1-5 year old son and his 24-29 year old parents I was struck by how happy and carefree everyone looked. Are we all really that good at faking it for the camera or was I really that much more relaxed in my 20's?
I can see how easy it is to look back on the past with rose colored glasses. I see those happy faces and I only remember the happy times. The family trips, water fun in the summer, sledding in the winter, fishing at the farm, catching my little boy asleep at the bottom of the stairs, teaching him how to cook and letting him spray the hose on the driveway wearing nothing at all. Nobody was pulling out the camera on those dark days when I was depressed about not having a baby or feeling insecure about how I looked or going to battle with my 4 year old and loosing.
Of course I also have the perspective of hindsight. I know that young mom is going to be just fine. Her bills are going to get paid, she will eventually loose that weight she is gaining, drive a mini van just like her friends, take that trip to Africa she has been dreaming of, see her son become a wonderful young man and hold that long awaited baby in her arms. So I don't see the pain of the unknown but the joy of what is to come.
 15 years from now when I look back at the pictures of myself today will I see a woman who is happy and carefree or a woman who is tired of carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders?  Someone who can't see how it will all work out or someone who knows that just as He has in the past God will deliver her into the future blessing her with amazing gifts along the way?

Childhood is fun.  Adulthood is fun.  LIFE is fun.  Looking at the pictures of Jake as a baby reminds me of what a joy my life has been and how richly I am blessed.  I praise God for the opportunities I have had to learn and grow along the way, for never abandoning me and for the hope of the future as life keeps moving forward and I continue to enjoy every moment.

1 comment:

  1. a very moving post. i needed to hear that today.