Take them. Of anything and everything. When you're older, you'll love looking at younger you, waxing rhapsodic about your lack of laugh lines, gray hair and general sag. Although you may love current you, younger you will always be a revelation, from infant to young adult.
The story of you and the stories of your family weave together into your life's quilt. A plait of memories and pictures and oral history and food will coalesce into a thick braid through which you form at least part of your adult sense of self.
I don't remember living in Mobile, Alabama, during Hurricane Frederick, but I know I did because my mother took pictures. I can map the faint scar on the interior part of my right ankle to the time I cut it on a fence felled from the storm. I was 5; I don't remember anything, but I've seen myself skipping along the wide truck of a fallen tree, joyful despite the ruin around me. I suppose I cut myself sometime around the moment that photo was taken, a little girl playing one minute and a'tumble the next.
As an adult, I find photographs to be a creative outlet but also a means of recording the details I can't imprint during the seeing and teaching and experiencing. This is especially true since having and traveling with my boys. They are kinetic and inquisitive and busy, none of which is particularly prone to quiet study.
Since we've arrived here in Rome, I have been overwhelmed on almost an hourly basis by the beauty around every corner, in every nook and on each horizon. It's an embarrassment of visual riches really; how are people who grow up here changed by such constant access to architectural genius, historical treasure, and aesthetic perfection?
Today I leave you with a humble suggestion: take pictures of the places you go, the people you meet, the sights that stun you in any way. They will change your perspective on the world in which you live, on the ways in which others make lives. These are memories that can ride with you into the years, enriching you (and your family) for generations to come.