I finally appreciate all the photos my mother took of me as a child

I finally appreciate all the photos my mother took of me as a child

#TeenEssay

 

When I was in the third grade my mother took me to Europe. Sadly, my memory of that trip is more or less gone. I have distinct memories of feeling awe, curiosity, and happiness. I have some distinct memories of certain moments, but most things are lost on me.

Luckily, my mother has always been an avid picture taker. So, when she hooked up her photos to our T.V. and made it so that the pictures would play, I got to see pieces of my childhood I had forgotten.

One photo I saw was a picture of me sitting in front of a Chinese vase at a museum. I’m wearing the classic tour headphones on my head and I’m staring very intently. My mother joked that I was either deep in contemplation or somehow mad at the vase.

That picture, which I hadn’t seen until two weeks ago, is now one of my favorites from my childhood. You see, on that trip I developed an overwhelming desire to learn history. I was captivated by the stories including the process of how our present is built on top of history.

With the photos my mother took of that trip, I am now able to see the precise moments I fell in love with the past. My mother has given me one of the best gifts I could ever ask for: a chance to relive my own history.

I used to hate having my picture taken. But more and more, I see the value of her pictures. Nowadays, I’ve been trained by social media to only want the good and aesthetically pleasing pictures. But I love the ones she took of me on my eighth birthday, for example, while I was sprawled out in bed with “Dora the Explorer” hair. I see why she wanted to document her children’s everyday activities, even when they glared back at the camera.

I’m learning that pictures are not just to show off or even look runway ready. Photographs capture the days that I take for granted. I’m so grateful my mother took those photos and that she still always wants to capture the moments I can’t see as important until years later.

 

Elisabeth Dellit is an 11th Grader at Jesuit High School. She enjoys reading, writing creative stories, baking/cooking and participating in her school’s drama program.