Power of Photography

I spent a good part of this last week clearing through an incredible number of photographs. I took on the task as part of a data management effort but, as happens when you work with things you love, I got lost in an emotional ride through time. Not that I needed to be reminded of this, but the power of photography is kinda staggering. To pick you up (wherever you are in your life at that moment) and just plop you down in that moment from before – in that place, with those people, and that emotion. I am grateful to have taken so many photographs of my family. It tears at me a bit, to see how each of my children just continues to grow and grow. We know that’s life, but you still want to freeze it as best you can. Which, of course, is what photographs can do. I found many things while stepping through these images, but the real treasures were the ones I had actually not seen before. I’d been in a moment, I’d taken a photograph or two, and I tucked the images away until I had time to step through them. But time moved quickly. As soon as I found this image, I remembered the experience. It was shot four years ago, right after we got back from Disney World. We’d only had two children then, which is now bizarre to consider. Our Sophie absolutely loved Disney World – the bustling energy, the number of games, the iconic rides, the beloved characters – and was wiped out from the wonderful adventure. My son hadn’t enjoyed the experience at all – the expansive parks, the constant noise, the sheer number of people, the dreaded lines. He was so, so very happy to be home again. That night, as they snuggled up with about five blankets, each other, and their new souvenir, I whispered goodnight to a barely-awake Caleb. He smiled up at me one more time, with those dramatic, almond-shaped eyes – then drifted off so sweetly, about as content as he could be. I am standing there right now, watching them sleep, their heads touching, their perfect little faces turned up to me. And I actually can be whenever I choose. That’s the gift of this image. I’m so glad I have this, to better remember that.