My friend Meg recently posted a picture of her and her mother on her first day of Kindergarten. The picture was so sweet–you could tell it was from a different era. It was fun to see how her mom, and probably many other moms, dressed in the 80’s. Meg was holding her plastic Hello Kitty lunchbox, an icon of that decade.
And yes, pictures say a lot, but what really inspired me was what was written on the back of the photo. It was labeled “1986-1987 School Year” and said, “Sweet Meggie with her (very prego) proud Mama–first day of Kindergarten! Baby Hayley arrived a few weeks later!! Happy, loving family! Late August 1986,” complete with hearts in the exclamation points and important words emphasized with underlines. It touched my heart and inspired me to leave treasures like that for my children.
In this digital world with digital pictures and digital scrapbooks, we rarely even print out pictures much less write on and label the backs of them. Even in the few scrapbooks I have made, I often used stickers to label pictures or printed captions because my handwriting is “too messy.” When they are grown up and want to remember me, I want my children to have more than just the pictures. I want them to see my handwriting and let it take them back to their childhood. I want them to see my handwriting and know how much I loved being their mommy. I want them to see my handwriting and let it bring a smile to their faces!
So my goal is to break all the rules and even sometimes write on the back of pictures with a pen that isn’t even “photo-safe”! I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself because believe me there are enough things on my to-do list. But a few times a year, I will stop and make sure that a few things have my handwriting on it, sloppy as it is!
I also really want to make a point to have more pictures that include me. Usually, I am the one behind the camera. Unless I make a point to include myself, entire events will be documented almost like I wasn’t there. And that is not the story I want to tell!
Meg’s mother passed away a couple of years ago, so it makes this picture and the writing on the back of it much more of a treasure. I know that it inspires Meg to be a better kindergarten teacher and encourages her when she needs it most. Wouldn’t her mom be thrilled to know that what she jotted down on that picture over 25 years ago is impacting moms today?
Here’s my picture from this year’s first day of school!
And the back of it.