Photos: Overlooked Clues

My children’s scrapbooks chronicled almost two decades.  What a relief to finish. Not! I didn’t have my own record of those years.

Where was I to start with the leftovers—both mine and many acquired after my grandparents passed and other relatives downsized? Arranging chronologically was not possible with that jumble. I chose thematically.

I sorted photos into envelopes. “A” was for art and aircraft. “B” was for beach and bikes. “Y” was only for yards until I found a yawning newborn. Looking for yawns, I noticed two newborn sons yawned the day they left the hospital. The other yawned the day he was born. Was their new life sleepy or boring?

Thematically sorting photos revealed significant information.  “W” was for workshop. One son was building frequently in his dad’s workshop.  I would have guessed another son. “G” was for games. One son didn’t embrace particular games. “H” was for hugs—enough for multiple pages.  I hadn’t remembered such affection among my preschoolers.

Along the way, I learned to study photos—more precise than memories—for clues.  I wish I had known to think thematically about our photos when my boys were younger.

Any unexpected revelations in your photo collection?

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