10 Years in the Future

Long days and short years

A few mornings ago, I woke up way too early.  The kids had to be up at 6 while the clock next to the bed read 4:30. Groaning, I tried to go back to sleep. I laid in bed, tossing and turning for about a half hour, but then I gave up.  I reached over, fumbling around on the table for my glasses (I’m blind without them). Once I found them, I reluctantly slid my body out of the warm comfortable confines of my blankets, wrapped myself up in my robe and then wandered downstairs to turn on the Keurig.  Yes, I knew it was really too early to start the caffeine drip, but I really wanted something warm in my cup.  Once that started brewing, I turned on the lights in our loft and searched for something to do.  I pulled my writing prompts book from the shelf, shrugged, found a pen, then curled up on the reading chair with one of my crocheted blankets.  

The prompt? “Write a diary entry, dated 10 years in the future.” 

February 7, 2033

Dear Diary, 

I spent the day finalizing plans for plans for our upcoming birthday parties.  We are only a month apart in age, we might as well celebrate them together.  51 years old! How did that happen? Is it true that 50 is the new 40? I suppose all of us millennials will continue to stay on trend.  

Lucy is graduating from high school in just a couple of months. Again, time flies.  She’s still not sure what she wants to do with her life yet so she’s taking a year off from school to travel and work. Then we will explore her options again around the new year. We will always support her in whatever she chooses to do with her life. 

Roland will be 15 in June.  I still find that hard to believe.  All those times I worried about how he would do in school, he is successful in his own way.  Both of the kids are kind, stubborn and creative.  They are both doing well and will continue to strive.  

I remember those older parents that would advise that “The days are long but the years are short.” I couldn’t understand that concept in the throws of having infants and toddlers. I remember THOSE days being rough.  But I do miss them these days.  Take the advice. Document the moments when they are little because someday, they won’t be little anymore. 

Now, ten years down the road seems so far away.  But ten years ago was 2013.  Ten years ago, my husband and I were discussing having kids. Ten years ago, the Harlem Shake was huge.  A decade ago, The Office finale aired.  No way that was 10 years ago! 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What about your spouse? Your kids? Who will they be in a decade? Turning it around…what are you going to want to remember about who they are now when you think about it 10 years from now? Are you going to remember their quirks, the faces they make when they are mad, frustrated, laughing, mischievous, happy? Are you going to remember what their little kid hands look like?  

There are surely hundreds, if not thousands, of snapshots of your kids on camera rolls from your phones.  As moms, and dads, we often snap some quick photos of our kids holding up a favorite picture they painted at school or dirty fingers at the park. But what happens with those photos? They get posted to Facebook, maybe into an email to Grandma and Grandpa. Then they got lost in the cloud, only to be looked at again as we clear out disk space. 

Professional portraits of your kids are a must in these days of camera snapshots.  Minimalistic portraits, especially, stand apart from the often busy pictures that usually end up on your phone. I’m trying to keep these affordable so that it wouldn’t be unheard of to have them done each year, updating the same frames with your new images.  

Research shows that having framed family photos displayed in your home has a huge influence on your children. Displaying your children’s portraits in your home can be an important part of how they develop their identity and self expression. Professor Geoff Beattie, Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester, says, “For children in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socializing process, learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a very public statement that we are proud of them.”

“But my kids get school portraits every year.” They sure do. But how often do your children go back for retakes for weird faces and eyes half closed? It’s pretty well known that these photographers are trying to get kids in front of their cameras and on their way within a minute or less.  “1-2-3 Smile” isn’t going to let your child’s personality really shine through.  Before your session, I will send you a short survey asking about your child(ren)’s interests. I want to get them interacting with me. I take 15 minutes with each of your children, giving them simple prompts to get the most genuine reactions.  If there are siblings, I also get pictures of them all together. 

For the very first time, I am offering Simple Kid’s Personality Portraits in color and black & white on March 4th.  If there is enough interest, I will add these to my list of general services.

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Let me help you remember how your kids are now when you look back ten, twenty or even forty years.

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