Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!


Quinn loves to look at photo albums. Before John went digital 18 months ago, we had stacks of pictures piled up in closets and on counters, gathering dust waiting to be lovingly placed into scrapbooks and albums with captions, dates, and labels to tell future generations exactly how old Bryce was when he cut his first tooth, or how long it was from the time Quinn finally sat unassisted to the day he decided commando crawling was no longer the best mode of physical movement.

Alas, I am a crappy wife and mother. All of the prints that are actually in albums were placed there hurriedly by John, most of them over two years ago, before Quinn was old enough to be capable of successfully destroying something of value if left unsupervised for an activity such as photo album upkeep. The rest of the prints, including pictures of birthdays, milestones, and vacations are still sitting in dusty stacks in my closet. And this doesn't even begin to touch on the THOUSANDS of digital files we haven't even bothered to have printed yet. Behold my crappiness.

Despite his mother's shortcomings in family history preservation, Quinn could spend hours looking at one of the four complete photo albums we actually have. (FOUR. The crappiness, behold it.) They are out of order, there are no labels or captions, and some of them have bent or torn pages from ardent toddler viewing excitement, but one of his favorite activities is to lug one of the heavy bound albums from the low shelf in my closet, hoist it onto our bed like he's a mountain climber throwing his pack up over the peak, and climb up with a satisfied grunt to look at pictures from two years ago. The only reason he can tell which kid is him and which is Bryce is because he's memorized them. If he comes across a picture of Bryce as a two- or three-year-old that he's never studied very intently, he assumes it's a picture of himself: "There's me!" I always blush and roll my eyes at my crappiness and say, "Uh, no, that's Bryce. See, there you are. You're the one with...um...no teeth...sitting in the...er... high chair." Then I go wallow in my shame. (But I don't actually take any steps to remedy the situation - hence, the mounds of dusty pictures still un-albumed. I flaunt the crappiness!)

There are jillions of pictures of me as a child that my mom or dad lovingly labeled, dated, and pasted into dozens and dozens of now worn and yellowed albums. In almost every album, there is at least one picture of me looking at photo albums. Quinn apparently inherited this gene from me. And since I am usually in my room when he's on his photo viewing kicks, I almost always get sucked in, too.

Even with the limited number of albums, I'm always amazed at how I've already forgotten certain pictures, certain moments. Quinn will turn the page and I'll look down and see Bryce as an intensely curious 19-month-old eyeing his infant brother swaddled in a receiving blanket and I'll think, oh yeah! I remember that exact moment. I had BABIES. Who is this galumping kid next to me? He'll turn another page and I'll see two-year-old Bryce rolling his Little People bus gently over a completely relaxed and happy baby Quinn's stomach and knees, and I'll know I would have forgotten the day I took that picture if it weren't in this album. Then I always feel a little sad. Sad that I've forgotten, sad that I don't have a picture to remind me of every moment I wanted to capture but couldn't, sad that I haven't treasured those moments enough to have set aside the time to document them more thoroughly, sad that those days are over, as difficult as they sometimes were - because now we have new, different difficulties, sad that in three years I'll be looking at pictures (digital, most likely) of these times, right now, in the same melancholy way, sad that I'll never be satisfied. Then Quinn turns the page again, points a pudgy finger at a picture of Bryce, one that he loves, that he's asked me about many times before, and says, "there's baby Bryce, mom!" and beams up at me with all the exuberance of his adoration of these times. I don't have a picture of this, so I write it down. Crappiness be damned.

Labels: ,