With facebook I've been able to catch up with lots of childhood friends, and even some of my relatives. I get to see pictures of them and their families. Recently I've become more conscious of the feelings stirred up when I see the pictures.
I see pictures of families laughing - not those forced smiles that appear in my family photos.
I see the same people in the same photos through the years - not changing faces every year as new boyfriends, girlfriends and others come in and out of my life.
I see candid shots - instead of posed and forced pictures.
I see holiday shots with parents having fun - not the look of "how much longer must I pretend to like these people?"
I see pictures of parents and kids partying and having a great time, without the knee high stack of beer cans that appear in my family photos.
I read captions where kids poke fun of their parents and parents poke fun of their kids in a absolutely funny fashion - not the sarcastic mean comments that would appear on my photos.
I see families hugging, arms thrown around each other, laughing and obviously caring for each other - sometimes rabbit ears or faces made behind someone - not the "oh my gosh do I have to touch them" pictures of my family.
Sometimes the photos make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. Often they make me wish I could leap through the photo into that family.