Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. -Charles R. Swindoll
Nature is an incredible teacher and has the ability to keep the attention of children better than any human teacher ever could. We live next to the Bay of Fundy so we have instant access to the beach and ocean anytime we want. My wife and I have been to the beach with our kids hundreds of times but there is rarely a trip that a pocket full of rocks or shells doesn’t come home. It’s ironic that every time one of my kids bring me a new “treasure” from the beach my first thought is “oh no not another one”. However, I really shouldn’t say anything because they are just like me. I have no idea how many photographs I have of the same rocks on the exact beach. I have to admit it there is something magnetic about it. I guess inside we are all just kids.
With no distractions from cell phones, twitter or TV, it is amazing the sense of peace that transpires. There is no remote to fight for control of; no child is expressing distress about being left out or being picked on and in that moment the cares and stresses of life are gone. It’s also my time to learn and be taught by them. A few years ago my son who was 10 at the time gave me an education about the gelatinous creatures in the sea. I’ll admit it I wasn’t familiar with the term gelatinous. They amaze me sometimes. My girls are just inquisitive as my boy and they all have the photo gene which excites me. They are my favorite models too.
When it comes to the photographs of my children it’s not the posed portraits that are my favorites, it is the candid ones of them in their element. They are either covered in mud or wet to the waist. I confess, at the time I might be thinking about the damage to the clothes but seeing the image on my screen makes up for it and more.
I’m approaching 40 and maybe it is the onset of an early midlife crisis but I find myself spending more and more time thinking about my legacy. Not so much as what the world in general will think but what my kids will remember. We’ve had many great times together as a family during all those walks on the beach. I’m glad I have the photographs to help us remember but the most valuable image is the one in my child’s heart and mind and not the one on my wall.
I still have a lot to learn about life, family and photography and I’m looking forward the lessons my children will teach me.