Real or Not Real? | Where The Boys Are, A Memory Keeping Revolution

I've been thinking a lot lately about words+photographs and how they come together to create a memory. 

I am settling into the space that to give life to a memory, a life beyond our telling, a life that becomes legacy you must have both.

Each day we are flooded with moments and what makes my life story unique from yours are which ones I choose to pause at. We all start at Destination A, go to Destination B, have countless interactions and observations in-between and find ourselves back at Destination A. We are all living the same story but it is in how we choose to tell and retell this story that defines who we are, that becomes our legacy. 

Both words+photographs are part of this telling and retelling but without each other the moment is fleeting. Both are needed to create a legacy. 

I love to browse through thrift shops. But my heart always gets heavy when I come to the drawers filled with old photographs. All those moments deemed unimportant. All those memories lost. If there had been words with them, if the story had been told would they have found their way there? 

Moments with only words are just as fragile. As the years go by the details become fuzzy and the retelling becomes infrequent those too are lost. Just this week I found myself calling my parents with this question "Was I on yearbook?" I have this distant fuzzy memory of standing at a table with a short black crop pencil and some plastic tools framing a shot. Is this part of my legacy or something that I've dreamed? Did I indeed find my love of photographs and storytelling in middle school or is this veiled memory snippets of movies and books I've read along the way. Real or not real?

As I put together this post and sorted the order of the photographs I found myself anxious to add the words. Because only with both do I hear the story. And these boys will never have to ask, real or not real? 

Welcome to the first collaborative post of twenty fifteen. We hope that sharing our story inspires you to share yours. 

Here we go......

There are increasingly few things that bridge their nine-plus year age gap these days. And though I argue with myself over how much is acceptable, Minecraft is something that levels their playing field and brings them together. At least, that’s how I justify the hours they spend playing it. - Amy Drucker

He draws stories.  He starts the scene and continues on, as if it's all unfolding.  The army of knights grow and attack the castle, a battle ensues, flames are thrown and a blaze starts.  A dragon appears and the whole page ignites.  It has never been just a picture for him.  As he creates a new world comes to life. - Amy Bernard

Your little brother is your shadow, always needing you to show him how to do things.  Your patience and time are endless for him and with this, I know how much you love him.   That little person looks up to you and I am so proud to say you are leading him well my son. - Sarah Roberts

You find joy and contentment in simplicity.  I am the one raising you, but yet the real big lessons, yes- those you teach ME. - Janielle Granstaff

I hope you find your place in this great big world. That spot that's yours and yours alone. God's plan for you rather than trying to mold yourself to anyone else's ideas. - Amanda Caves

My best photography investment yet?

An affordable waterproof camera I picked up at Costco, on a whim, in Hawaii two years ago. For some reason, my kids, who hate to be photographed on land, are perfectly happy to let me snap away under water. As a matter of fact, they beg me to do it. They want me to take photos, make videos, it’s awesome! Hey, I’m not picky. I’ll photograph underwater. - Linda Barber

There are times I have to nudge and set-up scenes (Do that one more time, honey…).  And then there are times I’m happy I have a fast camera. - Erika Ray  

You frustrate me sometimes when you say “I can’t do it!” and I know that if you really put your mind to it, that you can do it! I watched you over and over again try to climb this rock wall at the park. I wanted so badly for you to get to the top. Remember to never let fear get in your way! - Anna Bein

You always have that grin on your face- makes me wonder what you are up to-what you are thinking about.  You’re the quiet one, which makes me think that we need to worry about you the most. - Krista Resnick

You seem to be falling out a lot lately.  I get it.  I hate the winter too.  Being cooped up inside takes it toll.  

It’s dark until 8am, and then we leave for school, we get home from school and it’s dark by 4.30pm.  Then it’s dinner, bath, bed, repeat.  Another month or two, the nights will be longer, the mornings will be lighter.  We can get back to playing outdoors before school, after school, all weekend.  We can get back to doing school work outside, having picnics on the garden, riding bikes and playing football until the sun has gone to bed.  But until then, we will continue to pass the time and calm the tears. - Amy Lancaster

Snuggly in your warm nest, the storm brews icy flakes against your window. Despite being dog-eared with time and love, you reach for your story, your brothers’ story, our story with the same anticipation as the first time the cover was cracked.  You are transported to sandy beaches in your toes, licking strawberry stained fingers, and dancing in the sweet summer rain. You ask a thoughtful question about what was happening, bringing your own experience to the conversation. You spin off a separate, equally delicious story, and come back to the next page. And repeat. For an hour.

And when it’s over, you contemplatively sigh, wanting more, wanting it to go on forever.

Exactly what good books do for all of us.  - Jen Lucas

My [not so] dirty little secret......

You boys drive me crazy with all the tackle games and wrestling and sword fighting and nerf gun wars that unfold each and every night. Its not so much the act of war as much as it is the consequence. Once you three start up I know it will end in tears for at least one of you. 

This night I was done. It had been cold for days, we were on holiday break and you guys had way too much energy. I started fussing at you and realized it was futile. So instead I took out my camera so I could see. 

This is who you are, brothers. - Monica McNeill

You will be 10!!!

How is that possible!

I see you and feel you're growing up so fast.

…also I always feel that time flies since I'm a your mom.

You're my first and who began to teach me to know everything about parenting

Happy life my big boy. - Antonieta Esis