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Do For All

Pioneer-Photo-Albums-Embroidered-200-photo-Live-Laugh-Love-Frame-Album-P13883104Nine years ago when I first became a grandmother, I bought a small burgundy photo album to hold a few pictures of my Grand.  And I told David’s mother, my daughter,  “I’m making David his own album.  A few pictures of him each month. When he’s older, he might like it. ”

Daughter nodded, smiled, and said, “You know, Mom, what you do for one grandchild, you’ll want to do for all.”  Why, oh why, didn’t I take that as discouragement and pretend I’d never thought about this idea?  When Grand # 2 was born, I put her pictures in a green album.  Grand #3’s pictures are in a bright red album.  Now, I have six Grands and six different colored albums.  I never imagined that stuffing a few photos behind plastic sleeves would mushroom into a major under taking.  And sometimes I wish for the old days when a roll of film was developed at the drugstore and I simply got all the pictures developed, good and bad ones.

Now I spend hours, choosing photos and cropping and enhancing and using all those other edit options.  I’m overwhelmed as I decide which pictures to have printed for each Grand.  My older Grands, ages 5, 7 and 9, have taught me a thing or two.  They flip right past those cute baby poses of themselves lying on their stomachs or looking at the camera.  My Grands like the story photos, the action shots.

I order pictures – many, many pictures.  Sometimes six of the same photo.  Everyone needs a family Christmas picture.  And then I have a huge stack of pictures, waiting to be sorted and labeled, that lay on my desk, sometimes for weeks.  I’m determined to label because I have two generations of pictures with no dates or names.

Finally, I have six stacks of pictures and I get out the albums, turn on a little lite jazz music and put all those pictures in plastic sleeves.  And then I make sure my Grands see their new pictures the next time they visit.

They look at their albums and say, “Gran, why is Pop pushing me in a wheel barrow?  Is that at our house?”  It was at his house. The day Pop set up a sand pile in his yard.  That picture was made six years ago.  Why had my Grand never noticed it before?

“Is this when Daddy built that big sand castle at the beach last year?  It looks like I’m pouring water on it.”  He did.  And this Grand poured water as fast as her daddy could build.

“Look at me!  I’ve got chocolate all over my face!”  It was her 4th birthday.

“That’s the day I learned to jump off the diving board!  Did you know I was really scared?”

During those few minutes as my Grands turn pages and talk, I’m convinced that these six albums are worth the time and effort.  I promise myself that the next time I won’t fret and spend so much time choosing and editing.  Even if there’s just one picture for each Grand for each month, that’s enough.

Last week my nine-year-old Grand asked, “Gran, are you going to make a picture album for the new baby too?”  I can’t stop now.  Daughter was right.  What I did for one, I want to do for all.

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