As my children grow, I often wonder what my strongest memories of their childhood will be. So many things happen every day. Days turn into years and before you know it, they will be grown up and gone. Off on their life adventure. When I look back on their childhood, what will I remember? What (if any) character traits will have been with them from birth to adulthood? How will their beautiful faces have changed as they turn into young women?
I don’t keep a diary (oh, how I regret that!) – so I haven’t written anything down. When did Isabella first walk? What was Gabby’s first spoken word? How did we fill their days? Will I remember that Isabella used to call the remote a “merote”? Will I remember that Gabby used to line up her dinosaurs like a conga line? Just how little were they?
Photography helps bring me back to these moments, the moments that define their childhood and their personalities.
There are two photographs from a few years ago that succinctly remind me of who my children are. Each photo takes me right back to the memories of that age and how each of their personalities has remained pretty much the same.
One photo is Isabella when she is 2, standing in front of the Roseclif Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, with a brown and black leopard print fleece sweater and jeans, standing their in the cold annoyed that her dad is taking her picture. So annoyed that she makes a pouty face that has never changed – she makes the same exact face every time she pouts. She may be five years older and have grown a few feet, but that pout is exactly the same every time she breaks it out. Even she laughs when I point this out to her, she looks at the picture (it hangs over Gabby’s bed) – and she recognizes her pout.
The photo of Gabby that I’m thinking of is her having a meltdown in her bed. She is about 18 months old, in her pjs and she is just screaming and crying, so mad about something. Keith captured the image during the tantrum. It reminds me of how all or nothing she is – whatever she does, she does it 100%. And that includes her love of life, her enthusiasm for hugs and kisses, her sweet and generous giving self as well as her ability to do a 180 in a matter of seconds. That photo captured her personality perfectly!
And now, I have this beautiful photograph of Gabriella to add to my favorite and most revealing photos. Gabby was at the park, riding her scooter and became frustrated. Who knows why. She can get frustrated at the drop of a dime, with no warning signs yet she can meticulously build an intricate lego set for hours without getting frustrated, that’s her – how I cherish the dichotomy.
Thank you Keith for the beautiful photos. I love that I can remember exactly who my children are.
Can you think of a personality trait you have had since childhood, what is it?