Life’s Little Things

This New Year we will continue our inexorable advance into the unknown future of our family

Quite recently I had a major panic attack when I discovered that I had more than three years of photographs stored precariously between my camera and mobile phone. I set about downloading what turned out to be over 2,700 videos and images to what I hope is more secure long term storage.

Technology aside, I found the process somewhat disquieting. As the images flashed onscreen one at a time, rather like the time-lapse images of plants growing, blooming and dying in the space of seconds, I experienced a sense of the last three years of my life passing before me in the blink of an eye.

I watched my daughter learn to crawl, eat her first solid food, stand, walk and interact with the world in a matter of minutes. In an instant I revisited three years worth of school tours, stage shows, sports days and family events.

Evolution in toys

The only way I could tell that we had moved through another year was by looking at the evolution in the toys scattered throughout the various images. The routine of our lives was reflected in the similarity of many of the pictures; playgrounds we frequent, our garden, football club matches, baking in the kitchen and outings to familiar haunts. These ordinary days are not always flashy and exciting and when we are struggling they can seem endless; but they are the meat and potatoes of our daily lives and deserve remembering.

When we pause, as we often do at the start of a new year and take stock of our lives, we find too often that the days have passed into unnoticed and unmarked months, and those months have melted into years. We can miss the substance of our lives while waiting for the pleasant but all too rare ëspecial occasioní.

When I was younger I resolved to keep a diary of daily events as a conscious attempt to mark each passing day. When I reviewed these after some time I was pleased to see that although there were many run-of-the-mill days there was enough about each one that marked it as unique in some way.

In the moment of pause provided between a busy Christmas and the promise of a New Year I have resolved once again to make a conscious effort to find something memorable about each new day. This shouldnít be too difficult as my children ensure that each day is filled to capacity and then some!


Now more than ever, it is not just the changing toys that mark the passage of the years. Increasingly our pictures are less about the situations contrived by us as parents and more about the emerging interests, activities and personalities of our children. As a parent your advancing years are only counted by calculating your childrenís ages and individual days are less about driving your agenda and more about navigating through one determined by your growing children.

I have no idea what the next three years will bring for our family or whether those years will be peaceful or prosperous but I am certain that filling the blank slate of 2014 we see us busier than ever. As I sat mesmerised watching my recent past zip by, I resolved to do my utmost to be present and mindful of each new day. This New Year we will continue our inexorable advance into the unknown future of our family. It is a mildly terrifying but not wholly unpleasant adventure which has provided us with many wonderful memories. If we ever doubt that they have indeed been happy years, there are 2,700 photos to prove it.