In this digital era, as we’re armed moment by moment with digital photo and movie devices as well as the technology to share, post, forward, and multiply our pictures, we live surrounded by adorable images of those whom we spoil. And what wonders hath this technology wrought?
Thinking back on the past when a camera was a device you kept in a desk drawer until you packed it for vacation, I realize I’m more aware now than I was with the two youngsters I raised: Developmentally, toddlers and pre-schoolers are works in progress. Today’s charming picture of poetic charm and cuteness won’t do justice to the changes wrought by another week or two of growing, physically as well as intellectually.
And now become a grandparent and thus a sage on the subject, I have a theory why grandparents are more aware of developmental change than parents: Parents live with the kids day in and day out, missing the subtleties of time’s editorial brush-strokes on their growing charges because they don’t miss a single frame in the ever oozing time-lapse movie of the child’s development. In a sense, they see the kid too much to notice, kind of like watching paint dry or grass grow. Grandparents like us, on the other hand, miss many of those frames with our more intermittent visits, often going days to several days at a time without seeing the little squirts. So when we do see the little angels, we notice they’ve grown or picked up some new mannerism or added another multisyllabic word to their vocabulary.
So with photos for us, we don’t have a single favorite picture of the spoiled brat: we swap out our favorite pictures from week to week to stay current. This most recent pose by our Payton “Elizabuff” is our latest craze, adorning our phone lock screens, our FB profiles, and our ipad and computer desktops. That way, every time we log in, boot up, chime in, or call out, there she is, charming our moments with digital cuteness.