"You don't chose your family.
They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." -Desmond Tutu
* * * * *
Once upon a time there were four little girls.
Well, technically this story begins when there was only one, but it continues on as one after another joined the first.
Now these little girls had a mommy and a daddy who loved them very much.
And they also had grandparents, aunts and uncle, and a growing fleet of cousins who loved them too.
Which was lovely.
Uncles who barbecue.
Uncles who hold you on their lap.
The one small flaw in this beautiful story is that all the relatives lived far, far away from the little girls. And while the mommy and the daddy took them visiting as often as possible, even just a few months' separation can feel like a long time to little ones. So the mommy came up with an idea to help them remember the names and faces of their faraway family.
Quite a simple idea, really. She gathered up some photos of the family in action, and glued them down on cardstock. To make things as easy as possible for those little baby hands to turn the pages and look at all the faces, she covered the pages with clear adhesive paper, punched holes, and clipped them together with metal binder rings.
Cousins who wear paper suits of armor.
Cousins who feel bashful when they are the center of attention.
It was quite an indestructible little photo album, and the little girls spent many happy moments flipping through the pages, listening again and again to the stories about their family, and remembering everyone who loved them so much.
Years passed. New cousins came along faster than the mommy could add photos to the book. After all, she was rather busy keeping up with her own little girls. They still talked about their faraway family, and remembered all the names and faces and funny stories of times together, but the little book could not keep up with this busy life, and eventually fell by the wayside.
Cousins who patiently pose for pictures and try their best to smile.
Kitty cousins who eat from each other's bowl.
Years passed. New cousins came along faster than the mommy could add photos to the book. After all, she was rather busy keeping up with her own little girls. They still talked about their faraway family, and remembered all the names and faces and funny stories of times together, but the little book could not keep up with this busy life, and soon fell by the wayside.
Grandparents who give you beautiful dress-up clothes to model and tart green apples to eat.
We love them, one and all.
* * * * *
This weekend, I came across this sweet old collection of photos and decided a bit of tender loving care was in order. I reorganized the pages, made new covers, and secured the lot with a proper new binding.
And now, along with our full-size photo albums, digital collections, and social media stockpiles, our newly revamped baby-friendly photo album will always remind us of the gift of our family.
* * * * *
Want to see some other journals I've finished? Check them out here: