Leaving is tough, isn't it? Saying good by to that home where your toddler took his first steps, to that room where you nursed your infant in the stillness of the night, to that pool where your big kid grew two sizes the day she learned to swim, it’s poignant, and painful. Those rooms in which your memories are housed now become memories themselves.
Saying goodbye to place is difficult. But saying good bye to the people that helped raise your kids, that is, you know, heartbreaking. These lovely souls who brushed away your little one’s tears, or who lifted your boy into the driver's seat of the car, and played race cars all afternoon, or those beautiful people who reached out held your baby when you just needed to catch your breath, well, these people become bonded to us like family.
Recently, a lovely family booked a session right before leaving Indonesia. Their children are tiny, too tiny to really hold onto any memories of their first home. These little boys would move away and never really remember Jakarta home, or their life here. These boys would never know how Pak Ari was devoted to the bigger one, or how the Ibus loved the baby with gentle, patient hearts.
This family asked for pictures of them in their Jakarta home. But they also asked for pictures of the whole household. The nanny, the driver, the housekeeper. Each one of these people has played a role in helping this family make a home here. And the mum wanted to make sure that their boys knew these lovely faces, and that their helpers would remember them for always.
I’m a firm believer in preserving our stories. Our stories, weather we know them or not, shape us. The people who love us teach us about love. And so much better for us to know our stories, to remember.
So many third culture kids don't have the chance to go back to their first homes. They'll never have the experience of driving by their first house, and remember the smell of cement and red earth, the driver who played race cars, and the housekeeper who sang lullabies. They won’t return to that garden where they around after shcool and remark on how small it seems now that they're grown.
But these boys will get to return to these photos, and know a bit of their story. They’ll know the places that were important to them when they were small. They'll know how many people were around when they were small to love them wholeheartedly.
If you would like to preserve your Jakarta story for your family, for your little ones, I’d be honoured to work with you. I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org