Picture quality

I came home last night and my son insisted I sit down with him that very minute to label the pictures from the "baby to 2" photo book, containing pictures of him.

It was half-heartedly put together in the half light, half conscious days of his early life and it is the last of "the printed from a camera" pictures that I put together.

He did not care about the quality or lack thereof of the photos.

He just had lots of questions about what kind of baby he was (my answer, an always awake one)

He was born just around the time early adopters were acquiring smart phones. If he had been born even one year later, I might have had his baby hood photoshopped and stored (not printed) on my desk top. The likelihood that those images would have made it into a book like this, sitting on the shelf, eagerly pulled down and scrutinized would have been very low.

I have photographed every square inch of their walk to and from school. My parents did not even walk with me to school and barely knew the route I took. I have a picture of me on the first day of school, but no other aspects of my walking to school life or school life in general were documented with the same level of attention to minutiae that I have devoted to my childrens'. The only time I got my photo taken at school was picture day and when the newspaper showed up.

My son pulls the book close to examine a particularly blurry photo of he and his sister just after he had been born.  "I remember that" he says.

I sometimes think that taking lots of pictures will help me remember things more, but sometimes, those grainy, out of focus pictures, scanty as they are help me to remember other things I cannot photograph--among those things, exhaustion, curiosity and newness, the smell of breast milk, the feel of a baby on my chest.

"I remember too," I whisper back.

A photo posted by Erin McDonald (@willaerin) on


  1. oh, lord, the smell of breast milk. i swear my breasts remember the fill, even now.


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