The old photos make me conscious of my age. I peer at the photo of my son at three years old, laughing in pure abandon as he pulled on a cowboy hat. Where’d he ever get that hat? How’d I take that candid picture without a cell phone? Where’d my old camera go?
And next to the “cowboy” photo is one of me, reading to my daughter, six years old at the time. Did I really look that young? Back then, I thought I was old, almost 35!
I blame all of this introspection on my son. I had called him two weeks ago excited because I’d made a Chatbooks album from some of the old photos sitting in a box in my closet. One hundred photos out of over 1,000. That’s progress! The album is adorable, with photos when the kids were young, and even some of me and my guy as babies.
“Great,” sonny boy exclaims. “Send me the digital version.”
Um, the digital version?
“No, I made this album from photos I took of the old pictures onto my phone and into a Chatbooks hardback album. I thought you’d be impressed,” I explain.
Do I hear a sigh?
“Mom, my kids – your grandkids – will want a digital version they can see on my computer. I want a digital version. No one does the other stuff anymore.”
I hold my tongue. Why not? I want to ask. But I know better. I just let his words flow over me like water over a rock. Gurgle Gurgle Gurgle.
But lo and behold, guess what arrives at my front door a week later? A fancy kit called ScanCafe. The instructions urge me to place all of my photos in one of their envelopes that go in the pre-paid box. Drop it off at a UPS and within a month, all of my photos will be returned scanned and digitalized in a DVD or thumb drive.
I snap a photo of this box and text it to my son with question marks. ? ? ? ?
“It’s an early Happy Birthday gift, Mom!” he texts back giddily. He’s not a giddy man, but I can tell, he’s giddy.
I throw in the towel, fill the kit, and send it on. My life has now become digitalized.