One of our family traditions that we have continued from both my wife’s side and my side of the family is dedicating a wall in our house to family pictures. In my house, we have covered most of the main hallway connecting the front door to the back of the house with pictures. While most of the pictures are of our four children at various ages, there are also pictures from other relatives on both sides of our families.
My wife and I became grandparents a little over a year ago, and one of the favorite things we do is to hold Baby Cora and show her the hallway pictures of her aunt and uncles when they were her age. Cora loves to see the babies and my wife and I endlessly speculate on who she resembles, whose nose or eyes feature prominently in her.
Friends that visit us pause in the hallway to look at the pictures and inevitably they ask a question that triggers a story. One of the most asked about pictures is a group shot of relatives on my wife’s side of the family. It is a black and white picture of her grandfather as a 5-year-old child and his family, taken shortly after the family immigrated to America from Italy in 1910. The family name was Parrito but that was anglicized to “Spring” when they passed through the point of immigration.
Those pictures on the wall engage us and inform us, giving us an insight to our loved ones at some other age. One of my kids’ favorite pictures on the wall at their grandpa’s house has a great story that illustrates perfectly the family dynamic with their grandpa and his three brothers.
The reason the 2nd child from the left is not smiling is that just before the picture was taken, his two older brothers told him that if he smiled, when the photographer’s flashbulb went off, the bulb would break and the glass pieces would go down his throat. I think my kids’ are fascinated that their grandpa was once a kid and subject to the same teasing that our kids engaged in with each other.
Do you have an iconic picture in your family that has a story behind it? Please share it!