I used to shrug my shoulders when I’d hear my parents and their friends say, “Where does the time go?” Or, “Time flies.” Or, “I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year already.” But now that I’m older and my children are off to college, I can relate.
Where does the time go? Time does fly! And I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year already!
It honestly feels like just yesterday my daughter started high school, and now here she is in her first year of graduate school. And it’s been over 10 years since I sold off my agency. Wow! The challenges at work all seem to blend together, and the memories of when the kids were young are, well, memories.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to launch into a Barbra Streisand song or Adele’s new "When We Were Young." But I am going to pass along a piece of advice that I was given by a boss I once worked for when I was just having babies. She said that time goes by so fast that you are going to need reminders of all the good times later in life.
And here I am, years later, and here’s the advice: Take lots of pictures. Take pictures of everything -- school activities, sports events, holidays, birthdays, decorations, cool clothes, friends, teachers. Everything.
Take pictures of everything and organize them into photo albums, either in print or digital format.
I literally have a separate photo album for every year since my daughter was born in 1993. I have a photo album for each kid to mark the first day of school every year. I have a photo album for when they each took a celebratory 10-year birthday trip. They got to pick and plan it, and I took the pictures.
My daughter wanted to go to Los Angeles, and my son wanted to go to Hawaii. Funny that now she lives in southern California, and my son wants to go back to Hawaii to celebrate again after he graduates. I’ll be there taking all the pictures.
Every Christmas we would take a weekend trip to New York City to see the tree, skate at Rockefeller Center, go to a fancy dinner and see a Broadway Show. I have a photo album with pictures every single year we went into the city. We even did it again last Christmas when both kids were in town, and I took pictures at Tavern on the Green.
I have hundreds of pictures of our French Bulldog Sophie, who is no longer with us. But the pictures are! I made an album when my husband and I got married this past August, and the two kids were our witnesses.
I’ve got shelves full of albums, but they don’t collect a lot of dust. Quite the contrary. We pull them out all the time for #TBT Throwback Thursday, for school events -- and just to go back in time. Every time the kids come home, those albums come off the shelves, and every time when they leave I have to go back in and reorganize them by year. I do it with a smile on my face every single time.
Now I will admit that I still run out and print my photos -- I like a hard copy. And I frame several to put out in our bedroom and all throughout the house. The shelves in my office are filled with picture frames.
And in my new book Out and About Dad, there is a galley of pictures in the middle, proof that the stories I tell are indeed real. No sugar coating except on the gingerbread houses we made one Christmas. I’ve got pictures of those too.
So do yourself a favor and take lots of pictures, and organize them as best you can. You have no idea how much joy they will bring you later in life. I do, and I can now acknowledge that time really does fly.