Each year I spend some time creating pages to add to the kids' scrapbooks and give them to them as part of their Christmas gift. I start out each year with the grand intentions of keeping current with the photos, but when that fails I spend an immeasurable amount of time throughout November and December trying to sort through the photos and create beautiful creative pages that will be passed down and treasured for generations (heehee- at least that's how it goes in my head).
This year as I was sorting through the past 12 months and 18 gazillion photos I realized something. The photographic evidence of our celebrations, vacations, and milestones is often the best part of the event. For example, when I looked through pictures of the family all carving jack-o-lanterns, all I saw was smiling happy children joyously celebrating the bounteous squash harvest and eagerly anticipating an exciting night of trick-or-treating and dressing up as a beloved character. I didn't see slimy pumpkin seeds mashed into my carpet. I didn't hear whining about the frugal improvised version of the costume they'd wanted. I didn't feel my teeth rotting from the Dots and carmel apple suckers. It just looked like some good holiday fun.
As I waded through the pictures of our family trip to California and Disneyland last spring I couldn't help but wonder who that perfect family was in all the shots. A snapshot of a teenage brother carrying his adoring little sister on his shoulders, a fun-loving family all splashing together in the sparkling pool at the hotel, a relaxed couple lounging on the beach as their children gathered shells along the shore. Beaming faces exploring Mickeys wonderland. Gone was the evidence of children bickering for the entire 20 hour (each way!) road trip. Nowhere to be found was the snide comments, short tempers and achy feet that were prevalent throughout the week. Amazing!
My hope is that as the kids grow, and look back at their "oh so fabulous" scrapbooks, they'll also discover the phenomenon I'm coining as "Picture Perfect Memories". I hope they'll remember the good times- the trips to the pumpkin patch, picnics at the park, summers at the cabin, baking cookies in the kitchen. I hope the picture perfect memories will overshadow the arguments, the lectures, the frustrated sighs. Someday I hope to be the mother my photo album says I am!