Our Vague and Puzzling Family History

We are terrible at taking pictures. Terrible. And there’s no excuse since my iPhone is with me at all times.

Larissa’s teachers asked that we send in a family picture for their class book and I didn’t have a single current photo (read: within the last 6 months) where all seven of us were all together. It’s like we’re Yetis or something. I found several photos of all five kids, so I figured I’d just send one of the children and a separate one of me and Rob. Say “hello” to Mr. & Mrs. Loch Ness Monster. Nothing. The most current photo of us is from a summer carnival we went to two years ago. Knock on wood that none of us ever goes missing since I’m pretty sure it’s hard to identify people based upon photos of them that are decades old.

I finally located a terrible photo of all of us taken in a very dimly lit Olive Garden the night of my birthday (in June). Larissa? Sorry that your family photo looks like one of those miserable Civil-War era ones. Enjoy all the awesome photos of your classmates in matching outfits on the beach. When we are all much older I hope that between the seven of us we’ll be able to recall one or two clear memories of our family history because few photos exist – and the ones that do have very little context in them to explain where we were or what we were doing.

Case in point: Rob and I took the little kids to the Johnny Appleseed festival which takes place in our town every September. It was a gorgeous day, there were tons of fun activities and the four of us had a great time….which you would never know – because I only took THREE PHOTOS. And here they are.


A blurry picture of a cicada!

The first thing the kids and Rob noticed when we got downtown was this newly hatched cicada crawling on a tree that was covered in the shed exoskeletons of his comrades. I spent 10 minutes trying to take a photo of it (obvious fail) but took not a single photo of the kids looking at said cicada. However….Larissa just walked by, saw this photo on my computer and exclaimed, “Hey! It’s that bug we saw at the Johnny Appleseed Festival!” so I guess I’ll have to be happy with associative memories, huh?

Photo #2:

A new “educational” toy store opened in our little downtown and is rumored to be owned by one of the teachers at my kids’ elementary school…which makes this sign all the more unfortunate.

I took this photo while I was standing in the hot sun in an interminably long line for balloon animals. No one really wants photos of a sweaty clown with their kids anyway.


Hey! It’s a photo of Kellan and Larissa standing in front our downtown sign!

Right before we headed back to our car I said something to the effect of, “Crap! We didn’t take a single photo!” so I hustled the kids in front of the city sign (and its glorified ad for Home State Bank). The kids are looking in Rob’s direction because he kept saying, “Smile!” and “Say cheese!” even though I was the one with the camera.

Thanks to my Pulitzer-level journalistic coverage, I’ll bet it feels like you were actually there.

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  • You had me crying! This was hysterical. I love the way you describe your life and your family in your posts. I really identify with the picture thing. People ask me all the time if I got pictures of …, and I have to say No. But you know what? I think living life and having fun with the kids is more important, and you obviously do that. I see some parents who look at their children’s whole lives through that little camera screen, and it makes me cringe. They only see life within that little square, and they miss so much more going on around them.

  • You know, I feel this way sometimes, but then I think back to why I stopped taking so many pictures. When my first daughter was born, we took sooooo many photographs. Every day. Several times a day. With videos to back it up. Then I would organize them, edit them, post them online, and fill her baby site to bursting. I was so busy with my photo memories that I started to neglect time I could be spending with my daughter.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this till she was about 18 months. That was 4 months after all of her talking started to vanish, 4 months from when she started to noticeable act strange. Instead of really being able to talk to her and play with her like a normal child that first year, and she had complete sentences and potty training down by 11 months(a normal thing in Autism Land), I was spending those valuable normal child months with my finger glued to a shutter. By then all of that was gone.

    Now we will run and grab the camera if the girls are doing something cute, but we keep it put up just to be able to enjoy our lives without looking through a lens all the time. I think your trip was perfect, and you even have a few wonderful and silly photos to remember the day by. =) So many of us are too used to documenting everything. It doesn’t all need to be documented.