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making memories, the old fashioned way

by:Dezheng     2020-04-01
One day in December, when I was 18 months old, my mom tied me in my winter clothes and put me by her side on the steps of our New Jersey rental.
Then she instructed my father to take a series of photos.
\"I\'m eight months pregnant with your brother,\" she explains now, as we look at those black and white snapshots, she appreciates my delicious plump cheeks, her stylish blonde hair
\"I want to remember the last few weeks with you.
\"People who browse the family photo album I created often think that my mother must have inspired such an old man --school pastime.
She did it, but not what they thought.
Because that winter was the last time my mom had the urge to record our family in a movie.
A few photos that survived my childhood had no focus and were casual, just like a kid got a camera-this is often the case.
The hair swirls over the face. someone is making bugs.
Eyes in front of the lens;
There\'s also the endless blur of our black cat tracking on the orange carpet.
I almost completely missed the milestone: my first day in kindergarten, class drama, Halloween, high school graduation.
My grandparents have a stack of photo albums, black rectangular books, tied together with the grossgren ribbon, and their photos are posted on the page with the embossed photo corner.
Sometimes, when I visit my parents, I look through the photo albums and enjoy the old photos. fashioned-
Relatives dressed in their solemn best clothes.
When I asked my mother why she didn\'t take me and my siblings to Sears to see our occasional portrait, she waved a dismissive hand.
\"We are not camera crew.
\"We are all camera crews now.
The first digital technology, now our ubiquitous mobile phone, makes it easier to take pictures than ever before, and the culture of internet sharing seems to almost make it mandatory.
Like most of us, I have thousands of photos stored on my hard drive, and photos I have almost never seen before-are not on the screen anyway.
But my absence record when I was young did more than make me a cameraman.
It made me a photo album, a person who stores memories of her grandparents.
I put the album together because I want my two boys to have what I lack: a tangible childhood profile, what they can master from now on, a validation of their memories.
So every few months I choose photos and order prints.
Over the next few weeks, over a period of time, I sorted out these pictures to tell the story of our lives.
Mine is a simple operation: no stickers or fancy borders, no colored pens or stamps.
My album is plain, sturdy cardboard and my only tool is a roll of bunk paper
Tape and black file pen.
That\'s all I need, though.
This is your best friend, Jack, the album will remind my little son.
You are here, building the Lego boat together before he moves out in the fifth grade.
The day when my big boy got his first bike they would show him the black one with an orange flame decal on it and when he first saw his little brother he had a face
I write the name and date, the title.
Because I know what my children don\'t know: the events of their childhood, which are so important and urgent now, will one day seem to them to be something that happens on a planet that cannot be far away, even the Sharpest telescope cannot be reached.
I already saw it.
\"Why do I wear this? ” asks 11-year-
Old Nate looked up from one of the albums with a puzzled look.
I glanced over his shoulder.
The photo shows a preschool child wearing a silver space suit and a scuba mask.
He wore gloves decorated with shark teeth, colorful Carnival beads and his father\'s dress shoes.
The title reads: \"We captured a mysterious creature in the movie that claimed to be a shark.
\"Don\'t you remember wearing those crazy costumes? ” I ask. He looks blank.
I tried to evoke his memory and explained: \"You will put on all these layers of things . \".
\"Once, you put your underwear on your head and ran around and told everyone you were an underwear man.
Nate looks suspicious. “Really? I did that?
\"The underwear man, who was only three years old at the time, had forgotten his eccentric clothes, which is understandable.
To my surprise, the album is now 14-year-old brother.
My child is not sentimental.
They shrugged when I proposed to keep the drawings or the school project;
When my husband and I recalled their baby cute, their eyes turned over.
However, the album attracted them.
Usually, in a quiet time, I will find one of their albums on the couch, relive the blizzard, birthdays, and visit with my grandparents.
I heard them say, \"This is our old car. do you remember the clothes of the wizard ? \"?
\"When I started making the album, I thought I was just giving my boys a visual history that I lacked myself.
But, as adults, the tangible childhood archives I want to build for them are serving another purpose, right now.
As they flip through the subtitles and memorize the details of their lives, the faces of friends and family, I can see this from their engrossed faces.
Looking at them, I began to understand that my album was more than simply recording the years we were together: they anchored my son in a world that they were familiar with, one day, strengthen their adventure beyond it.
Kate Haas is the editor of Mother of literature.
Her article has recently appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and adults.
She lives in Portland, Oregon.
You can find more parenting stories in The Washington Post.
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