Sometimes pictures are just pictures. Then sometimes, pictures piece together a story of family, generations, special occasions, and love.
Such was the story Saturday when our family gathered to celebrate a baby to come for Rebecca and Taylor. Baby Boy Call, due to arrive July 16th, will be the first grandchild for Taylor’s parents Todd and Anita Call and the second grandchild for Elisa and me.
Sometimes pictures capture important moments, like when soon-to-be new mother Rebecca opened a gift to reveal her baby blanket which will now become her baby’s blanket. Especially when Grandma Patricia, who made that baby blanket 23 years ago, was able to be part of the connecting moment.
Often, especially in our digital age with everyone snapping on their phone, pictures simply capture the normal moments that may not seem like much at the moment, like cousins sculpting baby figures out of play dough.
Or like this video of cousins playing pattycake (or a more teenager version of pattycake).
One of my favorite moments was watching my sister-in-law Randi cuddling her baby girl Oakley while a little pair of pink shoes sat silently awaiting Oakley’s wiggly toes to fill them with joy.
Family gatherings can be great reconnecting moments. Time spent together can erase separation caused by distance and time apart. Generational gaps can be minimized. One of my favorites is getting to know people from the other side of the family, like Taylor’s grandma Marilyn Call, his aunt Kirsten, and his cousin Kira.
Pictures can also reveal fun personalities, like Leslie’s unbridled enthusiasm for the simplest moments of life.
Rebecca’s dazzling smile…
And my brother Marc’s undescribable personality!
Then there are those extremely treasured occasions when pictures capture the most important and crucial parts of family gatherings… THE FOOD!!!
Speaking of food, check out this piece of incredible food artwork created by our friend and neighbor Stephanie Harding. While she arranged her creation (which was deliciously delicious by the way!) her husband Joe jumped in and helped us set up tables and chairs.
Pictures can also capture mini-reunions of sorts, like this picture of the Gumdrop Girls, et al. Not long after we moved into Hyde Park 19 years ago, Rebecca walked through the neighborhood knocking on every door looking for another 4-year-old to play with. One of those houses was the home of Andrew and Kim Daines whose daughters Addie and Emily matched up perfectly with Rebecca and Leslie and their son Tanner matched up with our son Brenin. The four girls came to be known as the “Gumdrop Girls” and have remained close friends ever since. Not only did the kids match up, so did Andrew and Kim who have become best friends to Elisa and I.
Of all the moments of the day, those NOT captured are the ones that tugged most at my heart. I’m most grateful for one such moment that came at the end of the day. It was late and I had fallen asleep on the couch. I was slightly aware kids were headed to bed as I lingered in that state between slumber and awake.
It was in that state, just before my eyes slowly pried their way open when the magical forever-to-be-remembered moment occurred. I felt the closeness of a person, a soft kiss on the cheek, followed by Rebecca’s gentle voice, “I love you, dad. Goodnight.”
I will never wash away this memory.
These pictures probably won’t mean much to most of you. Perhaps, what they will do is help you see the extraordinary magic in the normal pictures you take and see.
Many may never be anything fancy, and most will be mostly normal. Yet, inside the norm, is a world full of extraordinary moments that are so very important. For today, and for the generations to come.
After all, that’s why we take pictures.
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to enjoy the extraordinary in a few ordinary pictures.
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