Surrounded by extended family at a recent reunion, I was reminded of the days when *I* was one of the little ones dashing between grownup legs. I also remember being interrupted from playing with cousins to pose for one of those infamous annual photo shots. You know ... the ones where you're reminded to "stop talking, quit wiggling and say cheese!"
That seems like just a few years ago, but in reality, I'm now one of what I once considered OLD. You know ... 35 and above. And those above 50 were ancient, which means I'm in that category now, so I guess I'll be needing a cane soon.
And just like the adults of former reunions, I'm behind the camera now -- trying to catch all the little ones and line them up with their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Gotta have those memories on CD's and SD flashcards or uploaded onto computer hard drives!
In the good ole' days, family photos were placed in gray-page albums and held in place with those cute little white photo-mount stickers at each corner. A few years later, someone invented the plastic-page albums that were magnetic in their ability to cling and hold any photos you slipped inside them. But those days are long gone. We have evolved into a hi-tech generation and now realize those other methods resulted in lost or damaged photos.
I've noticed, in the past seven or eight years, that more and more faces at these reunions are those of the younger generation. It was good seeing so many babies and young children in attendance. Their shy smiles and comical antics provided lots of smiles and laughter -- and brightened an otherwise melancholy day for Mom. I think it was hard for her to be one of only two siblings there this year. She grew up in a family of more than a dozen children, and only three are left, one of whom had a stroke the week before the reunion and was unable to attend.
I'm also thankful the parents and grandparents of those babies made it a point to introduce their offspring to Mom. She loves children and draws strength from their energy. I believe she also saw in their faces the hope and promise of tomorrow and the knowledge that the original family name is still alive and being passed down to dozens of new Dentons.
What a precious moment when one of my cousins led in prayer, asking God to bless each member of the family and to help us raise and teach the generations to come to love and serve Him. Although my grandson Ethan (photo above) didn't get to be there, I wanted to include him in this post. He is the youngest baby in the next generation at this point.
Truly, the little ones coming along behind us are the faces of tomorrow. We can learn a lot from them in the days to come. They'll keep us up on world events and coach us as the technology venue explodes with newer upgrades and development. They'll teach us the new lingo that goes along with all those new-fangled inventions and how to maintain them. Good thing, too, because I'm still lagging behind on everything introduced in the last five years.
As we grow older, we'll depend on the younger generation more and more. They'll be the ones that contact each of us with news of the next reunion. They'll cook and bring more of the food and help the rest of us load and unload our baskets and boxes. They'll offer an arm to lean on and bring their little ones to our laps for formal introductions.
In the meantime, I'm not looking for a cane or wheelchair. As long as the Lord gives me health and strength, I'd like to be at the annual reunion with camera in hand. Hopefully, my generation will maintain the tradition of passing down family history and interesting stories about our ancestors to the next generation. That way, those who come after us will have something to pass down to their own children. Who, at that time, will be the new faces of tomorrow.