Growing up my sweet aunts were the photographers in our family. Their pictures were notorious because it wasn’t unusual for them to cut our heads out of the frame or just get half of the group in the picture.
My aunt’s picture taking abilities never bothered us, we would all happily pose for them.
There is always someone in the family who was the designated photographer. When we are kids and the grown-ups came to interrupt our play, we sometimes grumbled and begrudgingly posed for the picture.
But when you get older, you realize how special these pictures are.
For us, these past few years has meant that there is one less loved one in our pictures. First we lost my mom, then my mother-in-law, and a couple of years ago we lost my father-in-law.
When this happens captured moments take on a new meaning, and you are grateful you have the memories to look at.
Pictures remind you of the happy moments you shared with your loved ones. They also connect us to our past. They remind us of who we are and where we came from.
When I look at pictures of my childhood, I am transported to Cuba, where I was born, then to Spain where we lived for a year until our visas to the U.S. were approved.
These recorded memories filled with faces and places that have meaning to me are priceless.
I think my children and grandchildren will agree that I have become the designated photographer in the family.
It isn’t always easy rounding everyone up, but what I love most about taking pictures is capturing the wonderful chaos that family life is — the laughter, the baby that decides to cry just when you are about to take the picture, the cousins talking instead of looking at the camera, or the dog someone is chasing to include in the photograph.
Real life, what a blessing it is.
This Thanksgiving, make it last more than a day. Capture the moments with your camera, and give thanks for your friends and family, and for the blessings in your life that go unnoticed.
Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily, Instagram mlsalcinespoweroffamily or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.