Thing The Last. If She’s The Story, Then Get It.

by Becky on March 1, 2013 · 6 comments

in Parenting, Traditions, Travel

Tess and Millay walking_6596

Thing Three. Whenever possible, view your daughter as a front page story. Then get the story.

Tess and Millie on a bench_6593

These photos of the Eleven O’Clock Girls in Bratislava, Slovakia, remind me just how much I remember about our trip through Europe last summer. Which is a lot. Which is a direct result of its having been documented. I remember the day in these pictures like it was yesterday. Because there are photos of it.  The companion story for this photo could be, “The petals fall under the spell of some interesting new acquaintances.”

The caption for the one below could read, “Miss Zinnia.  Silly girl.”

Millie on sidewalk_6594

Take photos.  And when you’ve got a minute, write down a place, a date, an impression or two. The story in the one below:  “Blue eyes. In Bratislava.”

Millie by door_6548

I want to be clear: when I say “get the story,” I don’t mean sit down and write War And Peace. Nor do I mean mortgage your home to get the appropriate scrapbooking supplies.  I love that some folks scrapbook!  I wish I did.  I kept trying.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get that gene. Once, I walked into a scrapbooking store in Arizona, looked around for a bit, and, when someone asked if they could help me, out of my mouth came the bizarre (and involuntary!) words, “Do people ever report wanting to slit their wrists when they come in here?”–at which point said woman (very helpful, bless her) gave me a brisk smile and hurried away. Fast.

The story for this photo of Miss Lavender could read, “Something’s going on behind those eyes.”

Tessa by door_6547

Or this one. “Oh happy day!”

Tessa on streetlamp_6552

Or, “Zinnie and Lavender doing something vaguely yogic.”

Millie and Tess get silly_6561

The Official Story of your daughter on any given day, at any given moment, gets written with the click of a shutter and a few thoughtful strokes on a keyboard (or in a journal, say). But we’ve gotta get them, these stories. Before our girls walk off into their own lives.

Millie and Tess in Bratislava_6585

Wish I’d started this in earnest.  Sooner.  I’d remember so many more days like they were yesterday!

Karen L March 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I so know what you mean! Even with having the blog and thousands(!) of pictures, the journaling thing, I’m not so good at. But maybe the photos will act as their own journal in a way. I just need to go through and title and label them all so that one day, when I’m old and funny, I can know who these strangers are… :)

I love the sweet pictures of your beautiful flowers. There is such a purity and loveliness about them.

Becky March 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

We’ll have a labeling party. How does that sound? For me, so much more finish-able. The blogs work, too, I realize. I never saw myself blogging until we upped and moved here. Now I realize it’s an amazing vehicle for documenting the lives of those we love and connecting with our own voices. I so love hearing from you. You feel like a kindred. XX

Jen May 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

It’s so funny…after reading this post and remembering all of the fantastic memories in Europe (including Bratislava, Slovakia – one of my favorite places) it is so true about documenting the event. After my daughter Betsy was born I started journaling specific events in her life. Sometimes it was a page…sometimes just a sentence. As a working mom, this has made documenting events easy and realistic. Although I did scrapbook quite a lot before having a child, I no longer have time to do that. So, the one page, one word, a great picture is perfect. And…it is a gift I cannot wait to give her later in life!

Becky May 22, 2013 at 12:30 am

Jen, you’re such an attentive and creative mom. And way ahead of me! And you’re right–just a sentence or two documenting the date, the place, the event, and a pic or two . . . and you’re brilliant. (Oh, that I had started this earlier.) You’re right on track! Besitos. xx

Jen May 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

Bets and I thought of you this am as we sat on our porch with the rain falling in the background as we had waffles on little tea plates with her Bitty Baby before heading to school. When at 6:15 am Bets asked, “Mom why can’t we have a picnic on the porch?” I thought, why not? So there we were before loading ourselves in the mini van eating waffles with syrup bundled in blankets just smiling at each other… (BTW – she is a butter lover! I have to totally monitor it). Best, best memory…Oh…and we did have the linens out for this event! :)

Becky May 24, 2013 at 12:54 am

By all means, get the tea set out, whenever, wherever. (With the linens, naturally.) Would have loved to try the waffles! xx

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