Family vacation revisited: Who will be looking at your family photos 30 years from now?
So now that we’re back in school and life resumes as normal (albeit still with some SK drop-off tears here), I’ve had some time to reflect a bit on the summer. In particular, it’s been weighing on me a bit heavily the lack of success we had travelling with our kids to Nova Scotia this summer. We had moments of glory, but it was less than what we expected for a relaxing family reunion getaway (read a bit about it here). As someone who has always been a big traveler (planning to hit country #75 in November - solo!), it’s been a bit disconcerting.
HOWEVER, as I start to rifle through the summer holiday photos, my memories are changing. My photos from my travels have always been my most treasured souvenirs and I’ve always adored going through them after the return home - so I’m remembering all the GOOD parts and starting to forget the challenges. Photos have a way of doing that - they elicit fond memories of days gone by.
One memory that’s starting to outshadow the bad memories of traumatic bed times and whiny restaurant meals is how our extended family treasured a slideshow of photos from previous reunions that my father-in-law put together. As age creeps in and more time during these reunions is spent hanging out together at our accommodations, I think our best night together was sitting on the sofa indulging in COWS ice cream and taking in the photos.
But here’s the best part. The photos typically featured us all at various ages and stages with food in our mouths, eyes half closed or RBF (resting something-or-other face). We didn’t necessarily look great. There were some gems to be sure, but a lot of less than stellar snaps. Nonetheless, every photo elicited “awwwws”, laughs and happy memories - especially the ones of Tante Barbara who just passed in the new year and was the first of her generation to be missing from a reunion.
But the ABSOLUTE best part was that it became a bit of a joke for the rest of the reunion - humorously attempting to recreate these bad pictures. Every time a camera was lifted and pointed, someone would jokingly ask how the resulting photo would be regarded at the family reunions in 30 years time. Someone would ask if our great-great grand-children would be able to put a name to the face in the picture in 100 years time. Everyone recognized the importance of the photos and how the best memories were of us just being ourselves, no matter the dated-fashion, bad hair days or extra 15 pounds round the middle. It was truly heartwarming for us all to realize that our photos were not just OUR memories, but the basis for our legacy.
Not wanting to embarrass any extended family members with closed-eyes or mid-sentence mouths, I’m choosing to just share a few of my favourite holiday memories of MY little ones. Their great-great-grandkids will be proud, and maybe a little amused!