Lights, Camera, Action

03/06/2014 12:01 AM

02/15/2015 10:39 AM

I realized the other day that it had been a while since I’d taken video of my kid doing something adorable.

I’m pretty sure when she was a baby I took at least one video a day. Because she wiggled her toes. Or laughed. Or farted. Or did something similarly amazing.

And it’s not that she’s not adorable or amazing now, at nearly 4 years old. It’s just that she generally does her adorableness on the run now, and my videography skills just aren’t good enough to capture anything more than a blur.

So no more daily videos. Heck, one a month is probably more than I’ve been doing lately. I caught myself wondering recently if she’d be mad at me, as an adult, for slacking off on the videos. And then I realized she’ll probably thank me.

What are kids today going to do with all those hours of footage when they’re grown up? Watch ‘em? Psh. Who has time for that? You know how often I watch videos of myself when I was a kid?

Never. Because they don’t exist. Which seems insane now that everyone has a video camera (along with all the other functions of a smartphone) in their back pocket. But when I was a kid, video technology for regular people didn’t really exist. I vaguely remember a few families I knew buying camcorders (ha! remember that word?) when I was maybe in middle school, but they were pretty well off, and the fact that those camcorders were as big as a loaf of bread and 50 times as heavy didn’t make them very practical for non-stop documentation of life’s little moments. They were mostly reserved for school plays and recitals and championship soccer games. And the footage is now on VHS tape, so a lot of good that did.

My parents took plenty of pictures of me as a kid, doing kid stuff (I was an only child, so that’s what happens), so my youth is well-documented. But I have to rely on my parents to tell me how I sounded, how I moved.

Should Nora ever wonder about that kind of thing, she’ll have plenty of footage. Here’s how you danced ballet in the kitchen in your sock-feet. Here’s how you played at our favorite playground. Here’s how you opened Christmas presents when you were 2. Here’s how you sounded singing the ABCs at age 2, 2 1/2, 3, 3 2/5, 3 4/7, 3 11/12, etc.

She won’t even need me and my memory to tell her that stuff, because it’s all on video. Which saves a lot of time and storytelling, sure. But the thing is, I like the storytelling. I like when my parents tell me about stuff our family did when I was little. Funny things I said, vacations we took, silly stuff that happened around the house. Sure, it’d be fun to have video of some of that, but maybe hearing it told by someone you love is an even better way to find out about it. We all get to relive it and have a laugh – together.


So sure, I’ll continue to take video of Nora whenever it occurs to me. And whenever I can get the camera on my phone to focus. But I hope she doesn’t mind, if she watches the videos as a grownup, if I add some live narration. And a lot of live laughs.


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