There are moments that, when they happen, I think I will remember forever. And some of them, I do. But, already, I’ve found so many moments from Conal’s first year slipping away.

It’s hard to hold on to them. I try — I snap photos, furiously, hoping to capture the moments of this life. But the photos aren’t life. They will remind me of life, the life we lived then and then, but they aren’t life. They can’t replace what has happened or the enjoyment of the moments. So, I try to stop myself from getting so carried away with the camera that I end up missing what is happening now by trying to save a representation of it for later.

I try to enjoy all the moments — with Conal, with Owen, with all of our friends on vacation — and, later, remember how they felt. How it felt to laugh with Conal as the waves splashed over his pudgy feet that afternoon we went to the beach, just the two of us; how it felt to watch him wonder at the texture of the sand he shoved by the handful into his mouth; how it felt to glimpse the pure joy in his eyes as he clambered up the hill of freshly pumped sand that must have seemed to exist solely for him.

I know I won’t be able to hold on to every moment; to remember all the smiles, sounds, tears, clumsy toddling about. I try, but it is hard.

So, I take photos. I replay events over and over in my mind. I tell myself not to forget. And I hope to remember all that I can.

Now, as our vacation is over, I hope to remember what was surely one of the best weeks of Conal’s young life. And, with that, I leave you with a pictorial celebration of a few of the moments I hope to remember.