Family Albums

Thumbing through our brittle old family albums, I realize that we need to take more pictures — and take better care of the ones we have. I have been assembling some photos for my dad's upcoming 60th birthday party and have immersed myself in the sometimes blurry details of my family's past. There are photos of my mom and dad at fraternity formals, in the snow, around the house, with a brand new baby me. And in a few of them, they even seem to be in love (these people, now divorced some 25 years). I knew they were once in love, but I enjoyed seeing it for myself.

There are, of course, tons of photos of me. I can hear the flashbulb popping in my memories of moments both important and mundane. My mother, in her fanatically organized fashion, has my young life laid out in neat albums with dates and names. And looking now at this history, I am grateful she took the time to record it so well. Naturally, all Jason's and my own photos — at least up until we had something so important as Lucy to capture — are in boxes, early years piled on recent ones, Big Bend camping and what-was-her-name-again shuffled amid Florence and Madrid and New Year's Eve 1999. I am a faithful keeper of every memento, every scrap. I just lack the patience to catalog it all.

Currently, we have lots of pictures of Lucy and the people who love her. For now, it all exists neatly online. But how will Lucy thumb through albums the way I have lately? I know there will be a virtual equivalent of these faded albums, but it scares me that all this could go away if we forget to renew the domain name.