I was watching a “Tour of Italy” last night. The narrator was explaining that during the sixties, Americans would race to have their photos developed as soon as they returned home from a trip. It was if the trip hadn’t been real unless they had the photos to look at and share.
I started thinking about the photos I had taken of Becky over the years, creating a pictorial history of her progress. I was able to compare how she had looked, or what she had been able to do over different periods of time. This was all well and good until she stopped progressing, and actually started regressing. During the dramatic growth spurts of adolescence, her muscles and tendons were unable to keep up, and over time, they became tighter and tighter reducing her active movement considerably.
Naturally, this had been a very painful chapter in Becky’s life, but through this narrator, I could now see things a little differently. If I looked at the pictures as photos of a trip, or a journey, then they were wonderful. They started to be more about the people we met and the places we saw, and the experiences we shared together, rather than the progress that was made, or not made. I could look at each photo and remember the day it was taken. I could remember the conversations, and the laughter; rather than looking at how straight Becky was standing, or how loose the fingers were in her left hand. The physical progress was not as important as the time I spent with my daughter while she was growing up.
I can now look at the next stage of our lives differently too. It doesn’t matter if we reach the goals, or make the deadlines. The point is, it is a new journey, and one that we have chosen to take. We will meet new people, visit new places, and probably have some fun along the way. It doesn’t need to be serious all the time, and it won’t matter if things don’t go to plan; we’ll make another plan.
I suddenly feel much more relaxed and ready to take on the new challenges. This is Becky’s dream, after all. I like this idea of a journey, so I’ll make sure I take lots of pictures.