Saturday’s Share: Sixteen-Year Selfie

A Playground Hug, August 2013. That’s Jim’s “let me be sure of the angle” look!

Photo credit: Jim “Chef Bluebeard” Burton.

Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday! 

Do you share any special, small traditions or rituals with your loved ones, little things you do together that started up as impromptu moments?

I don’t remember when Jim and I took our very first self-portrait, with him holding the camera to frame us both – him, because, the few times I tried, I got the tops of our heads and little more! =) I know that we took one at Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon, on the day that our friend Tom was taking posed shots for our DIY wedding invitations. We’ve almost certainly got others taken at the Canyon, where we lived and worked together for 9 months. I seem to remember taking them at Desert View, at Duck-on-a-Rock, and at the North Rim.

We have two selfies from the Cody Night Rodeo in Cody, Wyoming, where we spent our second wedding anniversary. One is of us kissing, and the other is of us being kissed by our 4 month old blue-eyed puppy, Bunko. We’ve taken selfies in the hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, on the Oregon Coast, in the mangrove swamps of the Everglades, and near Lone Star geyser, in Yellowstone. We have selfies of us in caves, of us in Wall, South Dakota, and even SCUBA diving in Key Largo.

We have a self-portrait, taken in the doorway of a Montana hospital room, with me holding two-day-old Jeremiah, who barely made it into the frame.

I don’t believe we have any of our second child, Elijah, who died at 12 days. When we were holding him, that’s where we were focused, and not on trying to juggle a camera.

There is a widening in the space between selfies, in the years since we became parents, but we have a great one of the four of us all smooshed together and wildly laughing on the couch, disheveled and happily in the middle of a whole-family tickle fest. We’ve got one taken outside Fort Ticonderoga, in the Adirondacks, on one of the rare days when Jim and I took a few hours to go on an adventure by ourselves.

We have one taken on the Metro, on our way from Maryland to Washington, D.C. Jeremiah’s just-turned-seven head barely visible over my shoulder. I’m sticking out my tongue in that one…

And now, there’s this one. Jim snapped this on September 4th – the first day of school for most kids in our area -but not for our unschoolers. Instead, we drove up into the Adirondacks along scenic Route 28, to Minerva and a historical landmark, and then went back to Lake George to spend a delightful hour, all together, walking around, sitting to watch the tour boats, the shadows of the clouds on the mountains in the late afternoon sunshine, and the first SNUBA divers we had ever seen. We wandered a little wild garden tucked into the side of the walking path, and had a sweet treat at Ben and Jerry’s.

And then, tired, but not quite ready to go home, we took the kids to this playground, surrounded by trees. While they played and ran around, Jim and I had a bit of time to chat and just be together. And, spontaneously, we posed for this selfie…

I see us, as we are today -sixteen years and more older than we were when we posed for our first selfie. We’ve lived, and grieved, and been furious with each other. We share passion and the children that were born of that passion. We share jokes and memories and challenges and triumphs and, sometimes, conflict.

And, because of this simple little ritual, started at our beginning, we have a record of it, in scattered images throughout the years.

How do you and your family commemorate the passage of time in your lives? Do you collect holiday ornaments, measure children in doorways, plant trees, or something else?  Saturdays are for sharing! =)


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