[I don't like the way these pictures are hanging indecently over the edge of the page here, but despite my vast knowledge of HTML, I can't manage to put them right. The other alternative seems to be making them miniscule, which is worse.]I don't think I ever posted these collections (taken over a 7-month period or so, at one of our favorite places, Red Butte Garden). I've been flipping through them over and over today, thinking about the strangeness of time passing. I can't see the changes in the boys from month to month, but over half a year's time, they become obvious. And even then, it's only through pictures that the changes are noticeable: I certainly wouldn't be able to remember how they looked a year ago well enough to compare it with how they look now.
It does seem like if you have 200 pictures of some little guy talking to you one day, you are more likely to capture in one of them (or in the sum of all of them) what that little guy really was like at the time. Whereas if you have one picture of that guy per year, taken at Kiddie Kandids on his birthday, the photo may have been taken at some odd moment, with some odd twist of a facial expression, and it may not really show HIM at all. But later on, it is all that will remain of HIM as a two-year-old. So when I look at pictures of me as a baby, how do I know if that's really ME or not? Or even my mom, who at least kind of remembers it---how does she know if the picture is right, or her memory---or if her memory has been re-written by the picture?
[Side note, kind of: I still can't help but wonder if all our obsession with "capturing" people through photos is a little misplaced. Aren't we just as likely to "capture" someone in words? Or really, just as UNlikely---since it seems improbable that we could accurately reduce a whole person to any one dimension, whether visual or verbal or anything else. I'm afraid that maybe I'm going to be lulled into thinking "Look how well I know my kids! I have 17,000 pictures of them!" and then someday I'll look at the pictures and be surprised because I can't actually remember the people that went with them---or at least, I won't be sure if I'm remembering RIGHT. Which is partly why I try to write down things about my kids, even if they're inane: just so I have attempts in two media instead of only one.]
Well, so I wonder what's the real benefit of even having these point-of-reference-type pictures, then? I feel like they do HAVE benefit. I guess they can serve as a trigger for more extensive memories. That could happen even if they were inaccurate, really. And they can give form to the kind of formless recollections I often have ("it was a warm day . . . and it was quiet outside . . . and Daisy wasn't crawling yet, was she?")---something on which to hang the collection of feelings and sounds and impressions my brain manages to call up as I try to remember an event. These specific pictures make me feel warm again (no small task), and hopeful that there will be Spring again. And a little bit sad, to know that the cuties in these pictures have already turned into slightly different cuties. But mostly happy, because I love remembering happy times together.