Once upon a time, many years ago, when I was in college, I took a lot of pictures. These pictures are in scrap books. These scrap books are in the living room. Pippi decided to peruse these books yesterday.
I sat with her as she flipped through the pages. First of all - there are definitely pictures you take in college that maybe are a little embarrassing when your eleven year old looks at them (nothing 'bad' mind you, but, you know - college stuff.) And then you see the people that were important to you over the years. The people who are in one or two pictures and then don't show up again - and the people who are there in picture after picture throughout the years.
Pippi flipped through, reading off the names under the pictures - I did label all the pictures (except for the last few pages - and wouldn't you know, in those last pages there are people I don't remember). I labeled with first names (sometimes last names). Even a lot of labeled people I look at the pictures and go - um, yeah - I went to college with that person - and that's about as far as memory will take me. Other pictures brought back lots of memories (many which I decided it would be best not to share with my children - I do have some sense)
So she flipped through the pages, reading off names - often the same names over and over. When she'd get to a name she didn't recognize she'd go "Oh! That's a new one!" And when it became obvious that some of these new people never showed up again, she added something new to her observation. "That must be an expandable character."
After the second or third time she said that - actually, it was because someone she thought was an 'expandable' character showed up in more pictures than she expected, I corrected her. "I think you mean expendable."
She laughed as she realized her mistake. "I wondered why he wasn't getting fatter in these pictures," she said.
She was very happy when she first saw pictures of her Daddy, (we've known each other a long time) marveled at how young her uncles looked in some of the pictures and made fun of hair styles that were just begging to be made fun of.
It was interesting to see how much of my life at college was really told through the pictures - the finer points of the stories would need embellishments, but the bigger picture is there. Some people say their life is an open book. I guess I could say mine is an open picture album.
And I don't think I'll be scanning too many of those photos in to share - though it would be amusing.