I've been going through my photo files lately, trying to clean up, organize, and make back-up copies of everything before my laptop dies completely. (It seems to be in its death throes ever since Eliot spilled almost a full can of Sprite into the keyboard.)
During this task, it's been pretty difficult NOT to get nostalgic. In a lot of ways, I miss my kiddo being a baby. I miss that gummy smile he used to have, before his teeth came in. I miss the way he toddled around all tipsy until he developed more balance and became a confident walker. Of course, the hardest photos to go through are the ones with all three of us as a family. Eli, Eliot, and I, all grinning wildly for the camera. Looking at those photos, it's easy to believe we had it all. Obviously, we did not.

Old photos also remind me of all the stories I've never told, ones that, for whatever reason, I never got around to.

Eliot's first swim. He was fourteen months old the first time I took him swimming. (I was a little a lot crazy overprotective of him when he was a baby. Many of his firsts came late not because he wasn't ready, but but because I couldn't let go.) His first time in the pool, he was pretty hesitant. I LOVE this series of shots, because they so clearly tell the story of his first pool adventure.

I love that even when he realizes he loves the water, he's still not about to release the death grip on my swimsuit strap.

And then he discovered splashing, and all was right with the world.

I know our world wasn't coated with sugar and populated by friendly unicorns back then. I do. But that's what nostalgia is about, right? Looking back and seeing only the good, banishing the bad? Yearning for a past that never truly was?

I'm sure there was plenty bad going on that day. Just two summers ago, and my marriage was slowly unraveling. I was too busy to notice. Or too secure. Or too trusting. Too something.

But...when I look back at these pictures, I don't remember the bad.

I remember only joy. I want that again.


chksngr said...

Oh, Rachel...these are so amazing!!! What an amazing face he gets when he realizes he likes the water!!! Its AWESOME!!! I can almost feel the thrill myself!!!

Elecia said...

If you are over protective, than i must be extremelyYYY overprotective. Maggie just had her first swim (15 months)!

Terri said...

So much smaller but still that same great smile with the crinkly nose! Thanks for sharing this story and the pictures.

Cathy said...

Joy is most certainly, if however slowly, creeping it's way back to you. Joy is probably a little hesitant about running back into your arms because it's afraid you'll reject it because you're not quite ready for it. Joy wants you and needs you to want it back, so all I can say is go for it Rachel!