There are so many reasons to love social media, right? We get to keep up with our friends and family, get information, be a part of groups and communities, the list goes on and on. It’s sometimes a love/hate relationship and can be the cause of some frustration but I choose to look on the bright side and be grateful for all the tools found here in these amazing social apps and programs. Tonight I relished in a moment that made me realize another great quality of Facebook that I hadn’t before really considered.
How many photos do you take in a day? A week? A year? How often do you have to import all the images from your phone to make room to take more? And what do you do with said images after import? Lots of your images might make it to Instagram or Facebook. Maybe you’re good at creating Chatbooks. Or maybe a big chunk of those images sit on your computer never to be glanced at again. We’re in modern day scrapbooking people! How many of us are actually buying the virtual paper and stickers and cut outs to make these memory books aka online galleries, photo books, digital photo frames? Not enough of us! Life is too busy. So here’s how this is all coming back to my initial thought- Facebook is my friend.
Tonight as I was making my “final rounds” on Facebook, checking notifications and replying to messages I had at the top of my screen that lovely reminder of what I was doing this day on Facebook 5 years ago. The image has been there all day and I haven’t clicked it. It was a picture of my son’s high chair tray covered in spaghetti noodles and sauce, with his hands, also covered in noodles and sauce. It showed his cute little toddler tummy covered in red sauce. It wasn’t the most interesting photo, and that’s perhaps why I didn’t click it right away. But eventually I did. And that led me to continue clicking on the photos in that same album. Photos I took of my son when he was 1. Photos of him with our dog, watching snow fall, at the park near our house all bundled up in his winter coat and swinging in a swing, and photos I tried (insert chuckle) to style for Valentine’s day. I can BARELY remember those moments. I was there for all of them. I’m the one who took the photos. I can remember setting it up, I can remember living in that house. But I cannot for the life of me remember what it felt like to be a mom to just him. I don’t remember those days of just Connor and I. I remember my routine in school, going for walks up the canyon nearby and I know that I LOVED being a mom. But for the life of me I cannot remember that phase of my life in the detail I wish I could. These pictures are the only proof that it even happened. And if I didn’t have these pictures I’d have long forgotten those little moments. And if I close my eyes and think really hard I can ALMOST recall a feeling, a smell, a sound that goes along with those moments.
Time moves insanely fast. When we’re in these moments we think there’s no way we’ll ever forget them. The days are SO long and sometimes hard. We are on autopilot just moving along trying to enjoy every moment. All the older moms tell us it’s going to go so fast and to enjoy it all. And we do. We think we do. We hold them a bit longer, we study their faces with our minds and try to permanently impress those beautiful images into our memories forever. But we blink and they grow. Before we know it they’re a year older. Somehow those long days turned into weeks, months and years. And those days we thought we would not, COULD not ever forget…are forgotten. I look at my youngest daughter, now almost 2 years old. And I look at our family pictures on the wall from only a year and some months ago. And I can’t remember what life was like then. I don’t remember how it was before she could walk and talk. I remember how tired I was, how hard some days were. I remember her birth, bringing her home and how much her brothers adored her (and still do). I can remember looking at all three of them and thinking WOW. This is pretty special. But I can’t remember those long days. I couldn’t tell you what a day in the life of ME was a year ago. I just can’t remember.
So for that I am grateful for photos, for my dedication to post and upload those photos. Sometimes it seems like it might annoy others if I’m posting too often, or with too many images. But I really don’t care. Because while they might not see the value in 5 different versions of the same photo, I can see why I took each one and why I felt compelled to keep each one. It’s like moments. Alone they are just a moment. Together they are memories. Each shot of my son covered in spaghetti struck a different chord of memory within my heart. And by the time I finished looking through those photos I felt a mixed wave of emotions. Guilt that I can’t remember a lot of this, sadness that it is over and overwhelming love for my oldest son who I adore more than anything. Seeing his baby face back then and being able to recognize how it has grown into the handsome little boy face he has now just makes me feel so proud that I have been there through it all. I have shared all of these memories with him. And I took the time to capture some of those memories for my future self. Not knowing that I really wouldn’t remember. Not realizing how important it would be to see the “normal” stuff that went on.
So from now on I’m going to think of my future self. The me that won’t remember THESE days. The days of messes, fights over legos, climbing on furniture and jumping all over the beds. Days of begging for screen time, asking if they can have snack after snack after snack. Days of cuddles and reading together while I’m still the only one who can read (although Connor is starting to read to his siblings which is amazing). Days of playing on the floor with toys and not always understanding what Felicity is trying to say to me. The moments of looking at my children just thinking about how they are the most BEAUTIFUL people I’ve ever known. Seeing into their souls and realizing all their potential. Knowing that they came from me but they have their own lives to create and their own dreams to dream. Realizing that my time with them is short in comparison to the time their spouses will have with them. Enjoying the fact that for now I am their favorite person, the one they want to tell EVERYTHING to. I’m going to catalog these amazing moments and memories not only through words but through photos. And the best ones are those that aren’t posed or perfected. The best ones are raw, real and crazy. They’re the images I’ll see and say “Oh yes….I can nearly remember….”.