I like to live in the moment.
And when I am on vacation or having a particularly nice experience with my family, I find that the pressure to get out of the moment and to capture everything digitally is, shall we say, irritating.
“I am capturing it with my eyes!” I will say to my kids as they make a funny face, or pose in a particularly loving way. As far as I see it, it’s good that they know that these are the moments they want to remember. Even if I don’t capture it on my phone.
The other day I had an experience that gave me a different perspective. My son was standing in the hallway outside his room looking at the wall of photos I recently put up. He landed on a photo of him and his sister standing atop a mountain facing the ocean on a family vacation to Greece a few years back. “I remember that feeling!” he shared. There was freedom at that moment for both of them and a connection between these siblings who don’t always get along.
Aryeh Ben David, the founder of Ayeka, once said, “carefully choose which photos you want to hang on the wall because each one will represent the memory you want your kids to carry on and the value you want them to embody.” When I set myself to culling from family photos, old and new, to fill the wall space on the stairs going up to my kids’ rooms, I took that advice to heart.
The older photos were a bit easier to choose from: grandparents and parents who have passed away, and pictures of my parents when they were children. Both of these expressed the values of family togetherness, the honor we give to our elders, and also the playful reminder that even grandparents were mischievous children once.
I thought a lot harder about the more recent photos. How do the pictures from recent family trips or events reflect values I want them to embody down the road? A few stood out:
- The look of pride on my son’s face for his hard work at his Bar Mitzvah.
The embrace of all the kids surrounding their grandmother and great-grandmother who both died a few years ago.
The images of my kids and their expressions of delight as they play, laugh, and cavort together are images of activities that are far from the cynicism that creeps in as they get older.
I plan to rotate some of these pictures out now and again so that my kids can collect more visual reminders of the memories I’d love for them to hold onto.
Over the weeks ahead and into the winter months, many of us might be planning vacations. When you are all settled back at home and looking through the photos you took consider:
1. Which 4-5 pictures stand out to you and why?
2. What value would you associate with them that you want your kids to remember?
3. Set yourself to curating a small collection and find a spot to display these photos. Maybe it’s the fridge, the front door, a wall in one of your kids’ rooms or in a common area.
Pictures hold the power to shape us. Let’s stay intentional about our kids’ visual landscape at home.
Blessings for the journey,