Riley has been running me ragged today. He decided yesterday that he is a one nap kind of baby. He didn't seem to factor in the fact that one nap is clearly not enough sleep for a growing boy, and that a couple hours after a missed nap he'd be very tired and grumpy. But not tired enough to sleep of course.
So towards the end of the day I was pretty worn out. I have a bad habit of staying up till the wee hours of the morning editing photos, and Riley likes to wake up bright and early. It's not a good combination. So as I was sitting in the nursery half asleep, he was running around the room proudly showing me all his stuffed animals and books. I could barely keep my eyes open.
And then he picked up a framed photo that sits on an end table in his room. "Daddy!" he said excitedly. He laughed and carried the photo around the room. "Daddy! Daddy!
Now Riley's dad has been gone quite a bit since he was born, such is the Army life. He was home recently, but just for long enough for us to get used to him being around, and then he was off again. So this moment struck a chord.
That photo that Riley picked up is the only presence he has of his dad for a bit. This particular absence doesn't involve access to phones or skype, and Riley isn't old enough to understand the things that remind me of Robert's presence, like old shirts and army boots. So all Riley has are my words about daddy, which he is still learning to understand, and the photos on display throughout our house.
And that got me thinking- how many of us have these important pictures stashed away on hard drives and CD's, or hidden in cell phone galleries? What happens when our computers crash or a toddler drops our cell phone in the toilet? Those memories are gone. Sure you may have them backed up on a hard drive or CD in a box in your attic, but do you know where? Who says you'll even have the technology to access them when you find it?
And even more important than that, what are they doing for you there? Do see your photos daily and remember a dearly missed loved one, or reminisce about your child as a baby? When was the last time you even looked at them?
I have made a point to display pictures throughout my house. There are wedding photos, random portraits, and large displays in each room. They are there so that friends can joke about our bad haircuts, I can reminisce about the past, and most importantly, Riley can see himself and his family. And even when we aren't around, he can see those pictures and know that he is loved.
So what are you doing? Gather up all those files that are scattered throughout your hard drive and get them printed. Today!