So That They Won’t Forget

I really want my kids to remember this special house we get to live in, and I’ve been taking photographs of every little detail. But it occurred to me that the kids might have particular things they want to remember too — from their point of view. So I took some time with each child and we walked around the house and the garden. I handed them the camera so they could capture anything they don’t want to forget once we move.

Here are 5 photos, each one taken by a different child, with the significance explained by them.

Ralph took a picture of a portrait hanging in his room. He says:
“I don’t want to forget this painting because I’ve always just liked it’s uniqueness and quirkiness and just the way the dude is looking at me every time I’m in the room. It’s awesome.”

Maude took a picture of the gate on the treehouse. She says:
“I don’t want to forget this gate because anytime I go into it I think of how high I might be able to climb. I feel like I can see anything.”

Olive took a picture of one of the rose bushes by the kitchen door. She says:
“I don’t want to forget this rose bush ’cause I’ve never had a rose bush in my yard before. It smells like lemons!”

Oscar took a photo of the trampoline — while standing on the trampoline. He says:
“I don’t want to forget the trampoline because it’s fun doing Power Ranger stuff. When Ralph jumps 3 times and blasts me like a cannon I like it. And I like having meetings on the trampoline after dinner.”

Betty took a photo of her bed. She says:
“I don’t want to forget my bed ’cause it has a bunch of flowers on it and it’s very beautiful. It’s comfy and in my bed I like to snuggle with my blankie. And I like the picture of the dolls in my bed.”

I love seeing what captures their eye! I’m thinking it would be really neat to collect these in a memory book about our time in France. Wouldn’t that be cool? Do you ever hand the camera over to your kids? Or realize they’ve taken a series of photos with your phone?

25 thoughts on “So That They Won’t Forget”

  1. This is without a doubt my favorite post ever on your blog. These are the most precious sentiments ever!

  2. Just wanted to let you know that I have that quilt on Betty’s bed!!! It’s a Pottery Barn quilt from several years ago! She has good taste! !)

  3. Is this ever a great idea! I love seeing your kids’ point of view and their reasoning behind it. Kids are awesome. : ) Happy Mother’s Day Gabrielle!

  4. This is wonderful. I have recently started a project with my daughter who is 17 months old now. She’s so short! And we walk home through the city from her daycare (we live in Chicago) and she would be fascinated with some little thing and I was like, what are you looking at? I started crouching down and taking a picture of whatever she was look at from her height. It’s been a lot of fun and quite revolutionary to see things as she does. If you are interested check out:

  5. We do the same thing when babies are born in our homes. We give each of our children a camera and let them bring it to the hospital to make their own memories of their new sibling. They can continue to take pictures at home and then we take them down and get them developed. It is so fun to see what they have “seen” and captured. We are due with baby number 4 in two weeks. The cameras are all packed and ready. Some of our very best pictures have come from our children. They see things we don’t.

  6. Oh yes I love to see their prospective! My cell phone has lots of shots of toes, noses and toys oh oh and television shows LOL

    Your children pictures are too sweet! Love love Maude’s picture.

    Have a great weekend and a Happy Mother’s day

  7. Such a wonderful, simple idea to let them pick the things they don’t want to forget. And I love the idea of putting them in memory books for them. What a great way to let them have input. My little one is only 21 months right now, but thank you so much for the idea. I think you get mom-of-the-day award. :)

  8. My favorite is finding pics on my phone or point and shoot camera from my 4 yr old. Lots of blurry photos of the floor or ceiling, lots of fingers over the viewfinder but also some really great shots of her toys or her little brother. The ones that I love the most are her self-portraits though. She actually turns the camera around, holds the camera out and takes a bunch of goofy pictures of herself. I obviously keep all of those but I even have a hard time deleting the blurry finger shots. Ha, maybe that would be a good idea for a Shutterfly book. :)

  9. What a sweet idea! As a military family, we will move quite a bit. Although I have been taking pictures to capture our life in each place, it would be wonderful to help my daughter capture her own memories of each place too. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This post brought a tear to my eye – for reals! I think this is one of my favorite posts you’ve done. So many things, pretty visual to stir up a memory, writing down your child’s own words about it, and that they took the picture themselves. Love this.

    We’re moving this summer from a city apartment to a house on the outskirts of another urban city. My three children were all born and raised in our little apartment. This is the perfect thing to do to document their memories here, mine too.

    Thank you!

  11. This is such a sweet and lovely idea! Children’s perspectives are always so refreshing. Ralph’s response cracked me up: “…I’ve always just liked it’s uniqueness and quirkiness and just the way the dude is looking at me every time I’m in the room. It’s awesome.” The dude…ha! Kids are so great!

  12. This made me teary-eyed, too! I’m not quite sure why–I think just sweetness of encouraging the children to record what is special to them, and valuing their point of view, and saving it so that they can always remember it. Childhood is so fleeting, really, and a month or a year from now they may already be different people in a lot of ways. Capturing glimpses of their inner lives, of what they see, is like putting time in a bottle. My oldest child is only 2, but I’m about to pass on my old point and shoot digital camera to her so that she can make a record of what is important to her. I’m so excited to see what she sees, and because of this post, I’m going to ask her to describe her shots and why she took them, and keep a record of some of those responses, as well.

  13. I like the Shutterfly books a lot…I make them into story books for my son about things we’ve done together, like his first trip to the zoo. Sometimes Target has coupons for free albums!

  14. I ADORE this idea! We dwell in one home, but incorporating this wonderful thought into vacations and travel is perfect!!

    Now, if I could only get to vacation and travel!! :) Someday! And when we do, my little shutterbugs will snap their own memories.

    Thank you, again, for inspiring me –
    d. @ plum.

  15. I’m not yet brave enough to hand my camera to my children, instead I’ve kept a ‘lifestyle’ collection of photos since they were small. I photograph their rooms, decor, their favourite toys, their beds, pencil pots in the kitchen that had so much use, the list goes on.

    You don’t expect surroundings to change so much, yet in reality, a couple of years can make a quite a difference. It is so wonderful to look back and not only see little faces and fingers, but also see the world as it was, and be able to revisit the memories.

  16. My kids are only 4 and 7, but they love taking pictures. I occasionally hand over my point and shoot camera when we’re out and about, just to keep them entertained, but they also each have their own hand-me-down digital cameras that they love to use. It’s SO fun to see what they take pictures (or videos!) of. It’s neat to see the world from their vantage point.

  17. Mon garçon prend toujours une multitude de photo avec mon cellulaire, c’est parfois très drôle ou très touchant…. il a déjà photographié sa petite soeur endormie…. preuve d’amour discrète.

    Merci pour ce post tout en douceur… c’est une belle idée pour des vacances aussi. “Quel coin du chalet préférez-vous cette année?”

    Julie :) en direct du québec!

  18. I love the memory book idea. Once my kids are like 3 we give them our oldest model of one my canon powershots. The cameras never seem to die or break (one child’s is 7 years old and another child’s is 5 years old and they’ve all been tossed down the stairs or down a slide at least once) and the kids love having a camera with them. We have a flip camera that all the kids share and it goes with them everywhere.

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