Monday, August 7, 2017
The Photos to Prove It
It’s 6:00 in the morning and Darian just pulled away, headed for Southern — a 13 hour drive by herself.
I’m not sure when this happened, when she grew up, when she became so independent and fierce and capable.
It seems like yesterday we listened carefully to understand her because of her speech impediment. I can remember my dad saying, exasperated, every time we visited for a few years: what did she say?? And Savana would translate.
One time a friend of mine rode in the car with six year old Darian for two hours, and Darian chattered away for the entire ride while I drove separately. When we arrived at our destination, my friend said, “She talked the entire ride and I didn’t understand a single word!”
But after a year of intensive speech therapy when Darian was a little first grader, she learned to say her r’s and her sh’s and now she can talk with the best of them.
When Jace was two years old, our computer crashed, taking a ridiculous amount of photos with it from his first two years of life. It was a hard lesson — that a computer isn’t dependable and backup is always needed in order to preserve photos.
And so we bought a hard drive and began to transfer photos to it from then on. However, I have been embarrassingly irresponsible with those photos. I haven’t uploaded them to a cloud or printed them off for photo albums. I haven’t scrapbooked them. They have just patiently waited on the hard drive for “someday.”
Yesterday, Darian bought a brand new computer and she began the process of transferring photos from a spare hard drive to the new computer. I was inspired.
And so Roy and I together hunted through boxes and shelves, searching for the hard drive. We finally found it, tucked away underneath Darian’s bed in a blue storage container. I pulled it out of the box, hooked it up to the laptop, and began going through old photos and videos that I haven’t seen in years.
Jace dragging his high chair over to the counter so that he could climb up and get crackers at 18 months
Savana’s surprise 13th birthday party when we first moved to Keene eleven years ago
Jace dressed up like a firefighter for his kindergarten end of the year party
Darian holding Jace and grinning up at the camera with those braces that she wore for probably five years
Feeding the goats at the Wisconsin zoo
And it continues. So many memories, so many good times encapsulated in a hard drive.
Roy and I are going to get another hard drive to back up these years of photos before it’s too late. And I am going to figure out a way to organize these photos so that I can actually see time passed in action rather than wondering what happened to all of the years.
It’s funny how our minds work, how time begins to fly the older we get. Now, when I look ahead and think, in twenty years, I’ll be 70…that seems like nothing at all. And yet…70? That number sounds scary. That’s when people start edging towards old age, towards health issues, and slowing down.
Recently I was thinking about how, when my girls turn 40, that will seem kind of crazy. And I realized that when Savana is 40, I’ll be 65. That doesn’t sound so bad. That sounds youthful actually — like I’ll be in the prime of my life.
65 sounds better than 70. I have learned that “old” gets older the older we get.
When I was Houston, I ran into James — one of my students from Wisconsin who, of course, is now all grown up, a dad and in his late 30’s. I haven’t seen him since he was just a kid, and now he has some gray hair shining through and it’s evident he’s not a teen anymore. But we talked about how we all feel the same on the inside really, at our core. It’s our bodies — our hands, our hair, our outward physique — that change. Our age doesn’t count nearly so much when it comes to the inside.
Darian is probably hitting Alvarado right about now. She’s listening to Pandora because we still have unlimited data so she can listen to her heart’s content. She’ll arrive at Southern this evening around 8:00 and she’ll gather with her boy and with friends and together they will eat out and laugh and tell stories and catch up. She’ll have a delightful time.
She’ll probably call me at some point, to say that she’s okay, and to give me an update.
She’s all grown up now.
And I have the photos to prove it.
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