I love the idea of capturing the essence of your child, without them even in the picture. I have tons and tons of pictures of my children. And I love every picture. I have thirty of the same picture and have a hard time sifting through them and throwing the repeats away. “But his expression is SLIGHTLY different in this one!” Most of my pictures are of their faces. Their sweet little faces. But I’m always worried I’m going to forget all the other things about them. Their dirty toes, chewed-down-to-the-stub-finger-nails, the current “catch phrase” that they repeat over and over!! I try to write down little stories about them and keep a list of the hilarious things they say. For example today my five-year old was sitting at the dinner table and said “when I’m a daddy and have my own house, I’m going to put my feet on the table.” I replied “yes, you can do it when you have your own house. But then you might have a wife that says “get your feet off the table!” He laughed and said “I’ll just live in a tree house in the back yard.” I’m sure his future wife will love that idea.
So being the sentimental person I am, I am always looking for ways to record the life of my child. One way is to take pictures of your child’s life, without them in it. The pictures below are some examples of how you might do that.
Every one of my children have been obsessed with books from about age one. My second son insisted he go to bed with a fistful of books in his crib. Every single day my daughter pulls the books off the shelf and spends half of her day looking at books. And every single night we pick them up and put them back on the shelf. Its maddening sometimes, ok, most of the time. But that is some thing I want to remember about all of them.
My mom gave me a stack of wooden puzzles that were my brother’s and mine when we were kids. I don’t know why I was the lucky inheritor, but I’m glad I was. My kids love these puzzles and play with them all the time. And I love them because its easy to keep track of the big pieces. So not only are they sentimental to my childhood, but hopefully my kids will remember them fondly.
My first son had a tan bunny, Edward, that he carried with him his first year and a half of life. I envisioned my son having Edward in his backpack with him when he went to kindergarten and hiding Edward from his girlfriend in high school. But sadly, Edward was lost, never to be found. I wish that I would have had more pictures of my son with his constant companion.
There are so many ways to capture the life of our children so we can remember a little longer the sweet stages of their lives. So take an hour and walk around the house photographing the tell-tale signs of the life your child is leading.