My divorce this year has led me to look through the family archives and review my personal photo collection. Print after print, box after box, I’ve been busy making scans of significant, memorable, or otherwise important family pictures (thank you, Flip-Pal). Predominantly of my daughters, the images in some cases date back more than 10 years. That decade is fairly small in the larger canvas of my family’s history, but in my own life – the here and now – it represents so much more.
Those images, and the memories they stir, serve as a personal reminder of what we do every day as family historians – collecting a lifetime of memories, stories, and images, and sharing them with the current and future generations. With my divorce, sharing those stories, events, traditions, and memories (and making new ones) with my daughters is now even more of a priority for me.
Here are just a few pictures that jumped out at me as I was poring through the family photo boxes. This first one is of my oldest daughter (she’s 11 now), where we are busy playing “Daddy with a Bucket on His Head.” Thankfully, my daughter’s accessorizing has moved past plastic headwear and on to more sophisticated pursuits, such as my suit, shirt, and tie combinations. And for the record, her taste remains exquisite; my work shirts and ties today nearly surpass my bucket-wearing days of the not-so-distant past.
Here is another picture, this one of my youngest daughter with my father. About 6 months old at the time and at her first Christmas, what strikes me with this image is how intense my daughter’s gaze is. Nearly 9 years later, that gaze can still penetrate.
Finally, this image is from just a few weeks ago, and has immediately become a personal favorite. Taken in Detroit right before the “Star Wars”-themed night at the ballpark, because nothing says baseball like The Force, Jedi Masters, and Boba Fett. We are all clearly eager for the evening’s festivities to begin and, of note, my youngest daughter even picked out my T-shirt.
Those photographs of the girls remind me of our special moments, those memories of Daddy-daughter outings, ice cream jaunts, video games, air hockey, and skeeball at the arcade, bath time, bedtime songs and rituals, and so much more. Looking ahead, I will be more mindful and appreciative of those moments with the kids, capturing and sharing those memories of the 3 of us together and our new family moving forward, today and into the future.