Recently, Thing 1 (for those of you not familiar with Renaissance Mom, that’s my 14-year-old daughter) opened our family room trunk/coffee table to find a real-life treasure inside — a box full of photographs.
You know what those are don’t you? Not those digital things that stay on your smartphones for years clogging up memory until you receive a message that you are running out of space and have to delete a few. Not those files upon files upon files of “Family” labeled folders full of snapshots you have on your computer. We are talking “printed out on photo paper, cut into 4x6s, sometimes blurry, multiple copied, fit for an album” photos.
Thing 1, her boyfriend (for the sake of this column we will call him Sam I Am — you know the “Green Eggs and Ham” Sam? It’s one of my favorite books.), Thing 3 and I recently spent nearly an hour one day digging through these photos, oohhing and ahhing, laughing out loud and sharing “remember whens” inspired by these photos.
A few of our favorites:
Thing 2, 3 and 1 sit smiling on the edge of a pool in Naples, Florida — our yearly April vacation from the time the twins were 10 months old until a few years ago. This particular vacation was extra special because, not only did we have Great Grandma and Great Grandpa around (we lost Thing 1′s buddy Great Grandpa a few years ago), but we also had a Mima Who, a Papa Who and a then single Aunt Who who had tons of energy to entertain her niece and nephews so the Grinch and Cindy Lou could get a break!
For those of you who are frequent Renaissance Mom readers you will understand when I say this commemorates one of my “When I was a good mom” moments. When I was a good mom I baked cookies. Letter cookies at that to help teach my twins the alphabet . (Thing 3 never got these cookies, which I attribute to the beginning of his spelling difficulties.) This photo has already made Instagram and Sam I Am’s cell phone background, so whether it was Thing 1′s cute smirk or Thing 2′s “don’t mess with my cookies (or my sister)” look, it was a favorite. It even sparked the question on Instagram as to “What happened to the letter G?” Thing 2? …
Another Florida pick. Love it! Loved the Fresh Produce dresses Thing 1 used to get every year in Florida. Love the fact that she used to wear dresses (wish she still would) and this looks super cool in black and white and as my cell phone background.
Some of our favorite stories of our kids’ childhoods are of the trouble caused by Thing 1 and Thing 2 when they were toddlers. Put two, two-year-old minds together and what do you get? A black lab painted in fluff, twins and a bedroom painted in VASELINE. A living room — TV, couch, chairs, tables — painted in butter (what can I say they loved to paint.) And a bathroom floor covered in three inches of soap and water, and Thing 1 stripped down to her underwear playing in it with her brother. We’ve been so busy remembering these stories of Thing 1 and Thing 2 over the years, because they are plentiful, that we’ve forgotten about those that involve Thing 3 — like the above reminder that he, too, had a fondness for fluff (and graham crackers) as a toddler. The difference between Thing 3 and Thing 1 and 2? They loved to paint others, Thing 3 … himself. Ahh. Memories. We may see this one again in Thing 3′s eighth grade yearbook if Thing 1 has anything to say about it.
One of my other favorites involves this full-on hug from Thing 1 to Thing 2. It doesn’t happen much now (if ever). In fact, the morning I wrote this I had just witnessed an argument between the two about an incident in school where Thing 2 embarrassed Thing 1. A verbal battled ensued and The Grinch received a call from the teachers. Ahh, sibling love, isn’t it the greatest? This photo reminds me that deep down, SOMEWHERE, Thing 1 and Thing 2 do have a special twin bond, and despite the arguments and the teasing and the “I hate you, looks can kill” stare downs they may have (with some unapproved swearing thrown in for good measure … Thing 1?) they do really love each other. So if anyone messes with either one … look out!
Thanks Thing 1, 3 and Sam I Am for an afternoon filled with fun, laughter, a few tears (when Thing 1 found an old photo of her and Grandpa Seuss who died of cancer a year and a half ago) and best of all, some great memories.
If you don’t have any hard copies to browse through, I suggest you take advantage of one of those great Snapfish deals and get some. Because, like thumbing through the pages of your favorite childhood book, there’s just something about the lost art of flipping through photos.
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