Parallel to remodeling my home entrance this spring I have been putting together photo albums for my sons. We are talking old school analog pieces with glued pictures and hand written text. The real deal.
As I have been a devoted photographer I did shoot tons of pictures when Trouble & Trouble grew up. I didn’t have the time to make albums for them at that time though, but for Trouble 1’s 30th birthday I sat down and put together the first one for him. Two actually. Black covers. Covering the time from him growing in my belly until he was 5. The third black album was delivered on his 31st.
Consequently Trouble 2 was presented his first two albums on his 30th too. White covers. As the brothers are two years apart, the first three albums for Trouble 1 and the first two for Trouble 2 ended them up on the same page so to speak, are you with me?
Spring is the birthday season for the Stolterman family, we are all born in March and April, the best time for the start of life we tend to think. And a good time for making photo albums as well. Light is back, life is back! And this time around the work was so much easier.
Because, as I said, my sons were now on the same page when it comes to documentation. Summer 1994. So what I did was simply going through the pictures making one stack for each son - and actually a small one for myself. Then I placed the albums next to each other and put the pictures in them, parallel. So smooth! Different pictures (I didn’t have copies) but pretty much the same text. So the albums are unique but the journey the same. Summer 1994 traveling around Sweden and hanging out at our place at the end of the road with friends, as well as spending time at grandpa and grandma’s cabin with cousins by the sea. And summer 1995, our second Seattle stay this time with Madrona as our home, getting to know the city.
So, all was well at my desk where I attended to this task. Except for one thing. In Trouble 2’s first album I remembered to put a couple of important B&W pictures right at the end of it. One was his parents wedding photo. The other a picture of our vocal group Moritz. Eight young people singing together for many years. Four couple actually. We were best friends and we all have kids at the same time, and for the longest time those nine children thought they were cousins. The Moritz cousins. So, these two pictures are in a way the origin of my sons’ life.
For this new album I had promised Trouble 1 to add those pictures for him. And this was the problem. As there wouldn't be space for them in my parallel gluing procedure. So, as I was tagging along in my work I was haunted by how I could solve this problem. I couldn’t figure it out. And I couldn’t relax and enjoy. Because as every parent to more than one child knows, it has to be fair.
As I couldn’t figure it out, I just kept on going. Thinking I will find a way at the end.
And a miracle happened.
It turned out that Trouble 1’s album had extra pages! When gluing the last Madrona pictures in both albums (from Valley School which was the key to why we one year later came back to spend a year), it was the end of Trouble2’s album, but not Trouble 1’s! Because there where two extra pages, exactly the right amount for adding those two B&W pictures I had promised him! Can you believe it?!
I was sitting at my desk. Astonished. It all worked out in the end. Just like that. And I was thinking, oh how I wish life was the same. That there would be enough money all the way through, just covering the funeral. A good place to live when it’s time to leave the end of the road. Those things I worry about. That it would all add up in the end.