…then Hugh has a million word story written already.

Seriously, friends, do we take too many pictures?

My childhood pictures fit into one brown scrapbook (faux leather with pull back sticky pages that are not acid-free). But I treasure those pictures so deeply. They offer a fuzzy glimpse into my childhood without telling the whole story.

There’s one picture of my mom pregnant with me (fully clothed, of course – no one showed their belly back then).

Me in my first pair of roller skates with red, white and blue stripes to match my best friend, Ann’s.

Meeting my newly adopted sister for the first time at the park.

Singing “Me and My Teddy Bear” at a school recital in an itchy plaid skirt.

Bridging ceremony at Girl Scouts.

A pink dress, a swing and a scab on my nose.

A strapless pink prom dress and a foreign exchange student date.

Playing in mud at Grandma’s creek house.

I probably take at least one picture of Hugh a day, not to mention pictures when we travel, when I go to conferences, with friends at dinner parties. What in the world are we going to do with all these pictures?

My god, the Shutterfly books, the photo accounts, the handmade scrapbooks, the rotating photos on our AppleTV. I personally have photos stored on iPhoto, Flikr, Adoramapix, and Picasa, not to mention Facebook, YouTube and this blog.

When Hugh was born, I had a photographer. But I didn’t want a videographer. I wanted to be able to recreate the experience of his birth in my own mind. Now I’m wondering if the same holds true for pictures. By capturing so much, am I stealing something precious from him? That ability to recreate for ourselves what our childhood was like. The memories that fill the the gaps between farflung images that are merely markers along the way, not a detailed description of our every move.

I still can’t stop taking pictures. But maybe one day I’ll do a big, giant purge. And when Hugh grows up, I’ll hand him one brown photo album with several grainy (thanks to Instagram) photos and let him fill in the rest.

Thanksgiving 2011 (lest anyone forget)