When I think of my childhood, I almost invariably picture summertime. Running around barefoot, warm golden light, popsicles, Big Wheels, camping… I had no idea what responsibility meant, and I liked it that way.
This weekend I dug through the chest in my parents’ bedroom and pulled out a bunch of old family photo albums. Smelling of mothballs and overflowing with aging, fragile negatives and loose prints with descriptions written on the back in my mom’s handwriting (“Ryan, summer ’81″), these books hold more than I realized. Here’s a gem from 3 decades ago — that’s me, bottom left, on one of our camping trips with some friends. My memory has faded a bit, but I do remember the highlight of the weekend was getting orange soda from the park vending machine. We also climbed the French Creek fire tower, and my SuperDad climbed way out on the metal beams, a hundred feet in the air or so, to take a picture of us. (I couldn’t find that one, unfortunately.)
Some of the people in these pictures are gone now, others I haven’t seen in years. Just like a great old song, these took me right back to a time that I really, really miss. I half expected “Here Comes the Sun” to start playing.
Why write all this? Because it motivates me to be more intentional about capturing my own kids’ childhood, and I encourage you to do the same. I’m so thankful for all the times dad lugged his Canon AE-1 on trips (and for forgiving me when I dropped it and broke his 50mm lens). I’m also thankful that I get to help other families preserve this time in life. Now that summer is here, schedules are more relaxed, and kids are out of school, it’s a fantastic time to schedule a family portrait session. You know who to call. :)
Warning: lots more old pictures below… most of these are of me, because I didn’t want to embarrass the rest of my family too badly. But if you’re looking for sorta mortifying shots of me in diapers, drinking from a garden hose after a hearty game of lawn darts, by all means, continue on…