retro roomThrowback thursday has inspired a renewed interest to revisit those old boxes of family photos. It’s been amusing to go through the photos with W and we have turned it into a sort of “Go Fish” game. He will prompt with , “Do you have any photos of lions?” I will flip through the years and decades to find photos from a zoo visit from my childhood. Then we talk about the times he has been to the zoo.

He likes to hold the photographs and I realized this evening what an oddity that was for his generation as so much of preserved photographic life is digital and only available to view on a computer or phone. Holding a photo of yourself on your mom’s phone isn’t the same as holding an actual photograph.

This evening we looked at photographs of my bedroom from 1st grade. W wanted to know if I had a bookcase in my bedroom like he does. He took the photo and studied it and aside from the obvious, he couldn’t figure out what anything else was. Many of my toys were a complete mystery to him. I had a record player, a 2XL robot (that played 8-tracks), a case to hold my records… Watching him look at the photo made me feel pretty old, and yet I know I have looked at images of my mother’s youth the same way.

I watched W study these old relics (ha!). He studied my face, studied what I was wearing, and as I watched him I wondered what he was thinking. It seemed too personal a question to ask, too self-serving and prying.

Earlier today I was out for a while at a board meeting for a local group and W started sending me text messages from the old iphone 3 he is allowed to take photographs with. This past week during our snowed in days I set up the phone to work with imessage so we could work on sight words and letters. He has mastered typing out all of the names of our family, including the car, and has moved on to emoji story telling and sending photo essays. Having this new quirky way of communicating has been a blast.

W will text me his name and a photo of what he is doing. That is my prompt to send him an emoji (to indicate how I am doing) and a photo of what I am doing. Today I sent W a silly photo of me during my meeting and he sent me a photo of his feet next to his mixer. This is all exciting and different and new and it feels like we have walkie talkies. We sit and talk all day, every day, but there is something magical about being able to convey our thoughts in a new medium.

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