If I had a nickel for every photo I’ve taken of my daughter-the one we call Baby-since birth, I’d have a pretty substantial sum of money. But then again, these priceless treasures should never be measured in dollars. The wealth that comes with such possessions is infinite; no doubt about it! Even though most of the photos of Baby are digital, the option is mine to print them or send to the photo processors. And the memories…Oh, the memories! They are there for my basking pleasure, anytime I want to go back in time…to the moment -in-time I was ever so lucky to capture.
I think back to the more obvious ‘picture taking’ moments; like Baby’s birth, her First Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, her first birthday. The first time we all experienced a White Christmas, Baby was just a few months old; of course we had to capture those times. But the unlikely moments, and little quirky situations, are the most fun to document and remember. Like the time Baby was introduced to crawfish: instead of eating the little guys…she played with them like they were her Little People toys. I have to laugh at moments like those!
Looking back on so many picture-perfect moments, there are a few that stand out in my mind more than others. I can’t say why exactly, but I know we all have those memories that strike us in a way that’s like an imprint on the mind. One for me is when we first arrived on Galveston in our old Volkswagen Campervan, the maiden voyage to the beach; and the first time we’d traveled such-a-distance in our old girl.
The sun was coming-up over East Beach, we had slept in Peniki a while after arriving deep in the night. The freeze-frame-of-a-moment when my husband Nico was introducing Baby for the first time to Mother Ocean comes back to me repeatedly. Baby was a few days from turning one year-old, and we had come to the island specifically for her birthday. We had high hopes that she would take her first solo steps out on the soft grains of sand; to cushion her fall if, in-fact, she did lose her balance. It all played out so perfectly, looking back on it now. Baby took her first solo steps into ‘toddlerhood’, on the West Beach of Galveston. I remember it fondly.
Another shining time for me is when we went on our cross-country road trip in our old Westfalia; from Texas to the Florida Keys. It seems like a life time ago! But I think a lot about the first state line we crossed, when we finally made it across the Florida state line in Flora-bama, our first Florida beach experience on Perdido Key, or the evening I practically had to pinch myself to believe we’d made it to The Florida Keys; after so many miles and moments, breaking down and fixing our 40 year-old van…countless times along the way.
I look at the framed photo in my living room: a picture-profile of Baby on Sugarloaf Key; the Florida sun shining, the reflections off the fresh water lake in the background. It was a day we’d gone fishing there at Lazy Lakes, where we ended up staying for three weeks. Riding our old beach cruisers from our campsite to the middle of the lake where you could walk out onto a peninsula-of-sorts, to an entertainment cabana and white sandy beach. I never did catch a fish, but I certainly reeled in a load of memories! It was one of those days; the kind I often recollect with a smile.
I catalog the moments of my life in no particular order; going back as far as I can remember. I try to remember my dad’s face; he left us so soon. I grasp to recall the exact shade of blue in my mother’s eyes, though I try to forget the faded grey they’d become just before she passed. I smile at the pictures that document the births of my children and grandchild. I tell myself that I must take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, welcome the Blessings and not dwell on the losses. And even though my mind’s eye recalls the special little ‘life-moments’ a bit differently than the pictures reflect, it’s because of these capturing-of-moments through photographs (whether digital or paper) that I hold in my possession true wealth…to which no amount of money could ever measure.