Recently, my brother found a picture which amazed me.
Now, I have it framed and placed where I can see it every day, and every time that I look at it, I’m caught in a web of emotions.
I’ll tell you who is in that picture at the end of this post.
Those opening lines were not part of what I planned to put in this writing, but as I started this post, I glanced over at that picture and had to add it to this story.
My original concept was to focus on how parents fill albums and now Facebook with baby pictures.
There is a basic reality when it comes to baby pictures.
The first child always has the most pictures. The last child … not so many. Not because there’s less love, it’s just a fact that as parents move down the line, they don’t spend as much time and money on baby pictures as they did with the first.
I know a man who was 10th child. He said, There are maybe two pictures of me by myself, but otherwise, every picture of me includes one or more siblings.
When our first was almost two, my wife arranged for us to have her picture taken at Famous Barr.
Famous had sent out a special invitation offering a free 5×7.
We went for the appointment, and the photographer did a great job and I was sure she got some good pictures. I remember thinking, It will be hard to decide which picture we want for our free 5×7.
Then, we had to schedule an appointment to pick up the free picture.
I understood needing an appointment to shoot the pictures, but why an appointment just to get the free picture? All I needed was to go by, have the various prints laid in front of me, and I could make a fast decision.
Silly me. I just didn’t understand baby picture marketing.
The appointed day and time arrived.
We checked in with the receptionist, and she said, It will be about five minutes.
I still didn’t understand why there was a delay.
Finally, a woman came and asked us to follow down a hallway and into a room.
I walked in and was frozen by what I saw.
Various pictures of my baby were all over the place; some framed on the wall; some were framed on a desk. And then, there was one large portrait that almost looked like a painting … perched on an easel.
The woman handed us an unframed 5×7. Here is your free picture. Do you see any others you might like?
Then, she sat down with an order form and pen in hand.
Famous made a killing on us. And yes, the framed portrait on the easel … that was on the buy list.
I couldn’t tell you how much money we spent that day, but I will say, that now … more than 30 years later … I know it was worth it.
And yes, we did the same for the second child.
Now, back to the beginning of this post.
I have a black and white picture of my Dad when he was about 3 or 4 standing beside his father’s knee. My Dad is pouting with his lower lip stuck way out, and I can just imagine that he was upset because he had to stand still for that photo … or maybe, he was upset over something else.
I love that picture, and had always wished that I had a picture of my Mother when she was a child.
Then, recently, my brother found a black and white that appears to have been a school picture taken when my Mother would have been in the first grade.
After I opened the package, I sat and stared at that picture for a long time. She had a smile that would light up a room, and I wondered what she was thinking and what she did that day before and after the picture and …
Well, as I said earlier, so many emotions come over me every time I walk into the room and see it.
I am so thankful that someone took a picture of my Dad and Mother when they were children.
Even though they are gone, those pictures reconnect us in ways I can’t even begin to describe.
I hope you have some pictures that do the same for you.