This summer my family and I had the dubious honor of being at Disney World one week before they banned the use of selfie sticks. It was a good move by Disney. There were times in the parks that we couldn’t move because of all the selfie action. People were standing in two hour long lines to get a selfie with some of the characters. To be fair, I admit that I did take a fair number of pictures. But I was struck more than once by the idea that people were so intent on documenting their amazing adventure that they were actually missing out on experiencing it.
Fast forward a couple weeks into the summer. We are back from Florida; it is hot; I am bored and would like to do something productive with my summer, and I think about the pictures I took. Well, then I start thinking about the pictures I took in 2009- on my family’s FIRST trip to Disney. I had bought a scrapbook, cute Disney stickers, awesome crafty Disney stuff to make the perfect scrapbook of our perfect trip to Disney. Then a bunch of stuff happened and I never got that scrapbook made (does that sound familiar to anyone?).
So how could I possibly tackle our 2015 Disney trip photos if the 2009 photos weren’t done properly? I had frequently wanted to take them all out and make an awesome scrapbook, but you know what held me back? I knew if I took out all the stuff to make the scrapbook, my kids would be all up in my business wanting to help. And let’s face it, their pages would not be precious like my pages would! How could I possibly deal with their imperfect handling of my perfect Disney trip!?
Then I remembered the selfie stick ban. I remembered thinking that people were working too hard at getting the perfect shot and completely losing sight of enjoying the moment itself. Our 2009 trip to Disney wasn’t perfect, anyway. My kids were 2, 5, and 6. Naps were missed. There was crying. One of them “un”-potty trained herself because those self-flushing toilets scared her so bad. We didn’t get to ride any of the big rides because the trip was about our little family, not our big family. And yet despite all this imperfection, the trip was glorious. We met Minnie Mouse. And Lilo and Stitch. We witnessed magic and wonder and laughter and fun, and we did it together as a family. The trip was glorious because it wasn’t my trip- it was OUR trip.
With that thought in mind, I took out all the photos and craft papers and stickers and laid it all on the kitchen table one morning. The kids and I spent all day making pages, laughing, and remembering. The pages are cute, but not perfect. But those pages are OURS, and represent the togetherness that it took to make the memories. And now we also have the memory of the day we made that book- together.