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Friday, August 26, 2016

Memoir Prompt: Little Things

Memoir Prompt: Write about something little that means a lot. Maybe something someone made you. Maybe something you made. Maybe something you found. Maybe something you inherited or won. Write about something that no one else would love the way you do. Little Things. 8 minutes. No editing. No stopping. No worrying. 


Interestingly, I struggled with this prompt today. 
The fact is, I am not a collector of STUFF. I have a few first outfits, first pair of shoes, that kind of thing. 
A few school papers from each grade, although I think I will end up getting rid of most of that in time.
Definitely some love letters from summers apart from Rob, but by and large, not a lot of "little things."

As I thought about it more, though, there is one category of thing that means a great deal to me and always has: photographs.

My Mom had a double door cabinet in our house in Houston, stuffed absolutely full of packets of photographs. I remember sitting for hours and hours on the floor behind the couch in the family room, opening each sleeve of pictures, studying them, then putting them away (somewhat carefully but never carefully enough!) before moving on to the next. I would lay out Christmas card pictures my parents had received and consider how the children had changed and grown from year to year. The ones I didn't know, I made up stories about in my head.

My love of pictures (taking them and viewing them) has stayed strong through the years. I have kept the Christmas card pictures we receive from year to year, storing them on binder rings to enjoy each holiday.  I am not an overly social creature, so being behind a lens allows me to participate in a more removed fashion, which is especially useful at parties!

In my house, we call the DSLR the "fourth child" and the kids know it is a pricey piece of equipment and to treat it with respect. The Fourth Child has seen most major events in our family and recorded them for us to keep. 

One thing I love about the camera is that it captures things that I might have missed. For example, at my husband's grandmother's 100th birthday party, I was taking pictures of her being sung to and blowing out the candles on her cake, surrounded by her great grandchildren. It was a beautiful moment and I was so glad to capture it. What I missed, and later was able to see in the photographs, were the tears of joy and sadness shining in the eyes of her two daughters.. sisters sharing a moment of joy and pain and love. 

My camera has caught the little things- shared glances, teenage angst and growing pains, bellyflop contests and parties, Christmases upon Christmases. It has captured the multitude of little things, noticed and unnoticed, that make up our lives, and made them a permanent record. 

So for me, "little moments" that tell the tale of our lives, captured in photographs.. the little things. 

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