When I think about the connections in my life, I often see a recurring and bonding theme in childhood moments. Mine and the childhoods of my children and grandchildren.
The terrain of childhood is a starting point for us all, even though we have very different childhood experiences. But talking about those experiences can bring us closer together. Sharing photos that spotlight our experiences can do the same.
In the photo above, the centerpiece is one of my childhood pictures, and I’m bookended by pictures of two of my grandchildren at different phases of their lives. My snapshot captures me at about age three, apparently tossing a teddy bear into the bushes.
I remember the moment. I had just spent more than a week (which seemed endless) in a darkened room, recovering from measles. The disease that (thankfully) children can now be immunized against.
Hating those endless hours in the darkened room, I can still see myself pushing a miniature car about in the crib, feeling very bored. I might have been scared, too, since nobody talked about what was going on. Afterwards, I had to wear dark glasses to protect my eyes; at one point, I recall stomping on the glasses and breaking them.
Years later, I found those glasses in a bottom drawer of a cabinet, and the memories flooded back.
I suspect that the beloved teddy bear had to pay for my frustrations about being “contained” for what must have felt like an endless period of time.
Now, juxtaposed against my childhood moments, take a look at the photo on the left, of my grandchildren experiencing their own adventures in very different ways from mine. They seem happy with the cat (Sebastian), enjoying each others’ company. I wonder what their memories are of this moment.
On the right, the same two are enjoying preteen moments at our “family monument.” Yes, at some point, my children dubbed this sculpture at the local university “ours,” because we often posed for photos there. I have a couple shots to share:
This second photo was taken several years later, in the early 1990s.
Why do we feel so connected to this particular spot in our family history? Perhaps we feel the strength of our bonds when we share the common experience.
Do you have family traditions that spotlight your connections? Moments you share that bond you?