#17 – Photographic Memories

I have hundred, if not thousands, of pictures of Aitch from birth to now. And yet, with ALLLL those pictures, I can’t seem to find any that capture just how small she was. I see so many pictures of other babies either in their cribs/bassinets or in the arms of doting parent and I there’s a sense of scale that really hits visually how utterly tiny their baby is or was.

In our case, it seems that we were constantly focusing on her face, which I’m very glad I have so many because that has changed SO much in a year. Logically I know when I see pictures of her from when she first came home that she’s my daughter, but I no longer recognize that newborn face of hers.

I am lucky that I do have a smattering of pictures with Sparring Partner holding her or enjoying a snooze while she is passed out on his chest. With her head resting under his chin, her tiny feet barely make it to his stomach even stretched out. I can’t find any photos of me with Aitch like that. Instead I have to rely on my memories and compare that to now. One night, when she was having a night terror, I picked her up out of the crib and sat down in the rocking chair to sooth her. Her head was on my shoulder and her legs stretched out to relax again as she drifted back into a peaceful sleep, her knees on my lap, her legs nestled between mine and resting on the seat of the chair.

Her feet that once both fit in the palm of my hand, are now these sturdy and strong mobilizers at the end of legs that continue to get longer and leaner as her muscles increase in strength….but I wish I had more pictures of them when they were nothing more than appendages that she regularly curled up under herself when she napped.

Realizing that my memory is poor even at my middle age, I know it won’t be long when all I will have are photos and a few pieces of clothing that I just can’t bear to part with to give me tangible evidence that my toddler, who turned 16 months yesterday was once small enough for me to carry in the crook of one arm – her head in the palm of my hand, her backside at my elbow – to help relieve gas pains. That’s one photo I deeply regret not having.

Take pictures. Take hundreds – thousands – of pictures. Capture their first tooth; the color of their eyes; their milk-drunk smile; the swirl of hair…but make sure you take a few that will remind you that while today they may seem small, yesterday they were so much smaller.