I just created a photo book for my daughter…
The thought that I needed to make one, and many more was nagging at me throughout the Thanksgiving flurry and all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday hype.
I did not pay attention to the hype, because I was attempting to organize all of my photos of my daughter’s family into folders in order to make either one ginormous book (with about six thousand photos and with a price tag, per book, equal to the cost of a decent compact vehicle) or a series of them to be done over the course of the remainder of my life.
Oh, I have made photo books for her in the past, of course, but not nearly enough, apparently. I am backlogged.
I have been busy with daily life, which seems to me to be a series of interruptions to my creative soul. I mean, I even resent bathroom, food, and sleep breaks. If that is all it takes to make me feel harangued with interruptions, imagine how I feel about things like grocery shopping, putting gas in the car, or visitors.
I worked on the annual Christmas card presentation first, in order to get that out of the way. If it were feasible, I would even have the Christmas shopping, such as it will be, out of the way as well. Although, the majority of my list will be created by myself, in the form of watercolor paper, pencils and paints. That messy stuff and such things as photo books.
But the photo books on my list are what pull at me the most. I know I won’t get as many done as I would like before Christmas, or even before the end of 2017, but the pull is daily present. It could be, in part, due to the needs to: get organized, and to free up space on my computer.
It’s also due to the need to get what I have expressed, photographically, into a form that can be held in one’s hands, to have a visible record, an heirloom for the family and their progeny.
I look at what I have from my ancestors and the treasures are limited to some china, tablecloth, a piece of furniture, and a few boxes of photos that are often blurry in their foggy distance from us.
We are so fortunate to have the technology that we have, which, while it may overwhelm us and overload our computers, makes it possible for us to create heirlooms, to pass down, that are clear, and close-up.
In the photo book that I just made for my daughter, there are images of her babies where one can count their eyelashes. But even more important, one can see their personalities, as they go about their explorations of their lives and cuddle with their parents.
And so, while this particular book was still in the stage of that nagging pull feeling, I did feel that I understood why it was so important, and not just to meet the discount deadline. But it wasn’t until I looked through the online preview of the book that I got a deeper sense of its importance.
Parents of young children are very busy, and it’s often difficult for them to see how significant this time is. It’s crazy significant to the children. And one day, when the nest is empty, the parents might look at such a book and shed a few tears out of missing that time.
They might wish that they had spent more time savoring and being patient, and just being better at the parenting gig, in general. But a book like this ought to make my daughter and her husband realize that while they may tend to take each obstacle in a linear and bloated fashion, when they look back, they need to see how awesome they were at parents, and this book will be the evidence.
They will see how much they loved and cuddled, how much they played, and how much they allowed their free-spirited daughters to be free spirits, within the safety of their arms and hearts.
They will see their daughters as they have grown with their variety of facial expressions and their explorations of the world. They will see the moments when their daughters tried a new food, danced for the joy of it, cuddled each other, focused intently on books or drawings, jumped up and down, and slept curled up as if returning to the womb in hibernation.
They will see the beautiful life which they found and created within the walls of their home.
They will see all the love and intensity held still for their examination, and they will know that it was all good and that the love was amazing and they will want to hold it in their minds, eyes, hands and hearts forever.
And that is why I am pulled to create such a life’s work for all of my children and theirs, forever.