Looking at Pictures Together- How Michael and I Are Building Memories

Michael loves looking at baby, toddler and school age pictures of himself. He also loves when I tell him stories of how he was at that time, where we went, and what we did. Occasionally, as many parents of Exceptional Children have told me, he will come up with a memory I didn’t know he had from when he was very young.

“I remember waiting for you at the gate of my old preschool Mommy. I used to say “Open gate. I liked that school. My first daycare was hard. I cried when you left.”

The first time I heard these words I was shocked. Why they were surprising was that he was only two and a half  years old at his first daycare experience, which did not go well, and even the preschool experience that did, he was only three years old. Apparently, kids can’t process memories before four years old according to the medical literature. Not Michael. He once told me a memory of when he was six months old in his stroller. I had never told him any of this.

“I used to laugh and look at the birds Mommy. You took me for walks in my stroller all over the neighborhood! I remember the busy streets.”

It was summer and we were finally able to get out of the house for fresh early morning air!  It was incredible. I still have chills writing about this now, his amazing brain, all Exceptional Kids’ amazing brains that know way more than we think they do, and are capable of more than all of us can even imagine. Looking at pictures with him on the computer screen or phone is fun. He sits on my lap or near me, we cuddle, and talk about what we were doing, what we were feeling, and we laugh and reminisce. Michael also likes to see pictures of me and his uncle when we were young, grandparents, friends. I keep meaning to ask my Mom for old photos of us, and dig up pictures I have at home in albums and on computer. This blog is my reminder to do that. Thanks ladies! 🙂

Do any of your children like looking at family pictures, remembering shared moments of fun, pleasure? If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot and see what dialogues emerge, or what feelings come up for both of you. The bonding will bring you closer together, and will help jump start the process of forming family traditions and activities where you both can bond and grow closer. That is a natural outcome when our kids feel nurtured and remember the happy times with family. Until next time.

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