I want to talk about the smaller moments today.
But first, hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and long weekend. I’ll spare you the turkey jokes because I know I’m done with them. We had a great time with our families, ate some damn good grub and enjoyed a nice and relaxed pace for a few days. Just what the doctor ordered.
We took a bunch of photos and I considered sharing some of them here … but then I fell asleep trying to pull it together. No seriously, I literally dozed off in the middle of a photo review. Not that the photos were bad or that supremely dull, but I just find myself more and more disinterested in staged photos. Sure, it’s great to have a shot of the family eating together at Thanksgiving, but I want more than that.
Which now leads to today’s very important message …
The kids love watching old home videos. While it is a pain in the ass to hook up our archaic and bulky equipment in order to play these videos, it is worth the effort just to watch them giggle or hide their face in embarrassment. They are the only movies we can all agree to watch together right now without incident so another reason to throw them on from time to time.
And now I’ll try my best not to cry thinking about them as little ones.
We recently had another request to get out the old family films and because we are award winning parents, we obliged. Out came the box of cassettes and the obnoxiously large video recorder machine and we were well on our way. I was given the choice of first video to be played (imagine that) and began to leaf through the options: Christmas 2007, Easter 20006, Jack’s Birthday 2004, First Day of School 2010. As I contemplated my options, I came to a realization that bothered me a bit … and then bothered me a lot.
While we had all of the so called major occasions covered, we were missing the beautifully mundane day to day stuff, the smaller moments.
I wish we had captured, I don’t know, day 26 of the 2009 school year once the morning routine had been established. I have very little recollection of how we operated. I’d even like to know what the kids preferred for breakfast back then.
I wish we had captured the “time to go to bed routine” back in 2007. I vaguely remember needing to find my daughter under a pile of blankets before she was carried upstairs to bed.
I wish we had captured the intense indoor basketball games between me and my son in 2008. I’m pretty sure I dominated him with my array of three pointers.
I understand the need to capture the holidays and all of those key “life moments”, when typically, the entire family is together and everyone is in a joyous mood. But we way underrate the “normal” day to day events. Those smaller moments are so easily lost in our cluttered and aging minds, but they really are the building blocks of our lives. They are times and details I want to vividly remember and in order to do so, they need to be captured by the latest and greatest recording device.
A perfect example of this: since she first learned to walk, my daughter loves to stand on my feet and have me walk around the house. It may now raise my heart rate to dangerous levels since she is so much bigger, but I love it to death. And thankfully, my wife caught it in action without either of us being aware of it.
That my friends, is the perfect photo (and no, not because the camera tricks you into believing I have a fantastic looking beard).
The pic is candid and captures a moment in time that we’ll now cherish forever. No holiday pose or forced “moment”, just a snapshot of my nine year old daughter still enjoying her father’s presence.
As I started to piece together this post, I looked back through all of our photos from the past few years and realized I’ve failed miserably in capturing the smaller moments, aka the spontaneous day to day events in our lives. Plenty of plant photos of course, and a ton of vacation shots, but nothing like the moments I’ve just waxed poetic about.
But my wife nailed it a bunch of times because you know, she kicks some major booty.
Here is my daughter still in her dress-up phase from a few years back.
She had no idea this was being taken and I’m so thankful that it was captured on film. Those dress-up days are already in the rear view but we’ll have this reminder forever.
My son had a Minecraft phase a few years back but I’m not sure I would clearly remember this a few years from now. Again, kudos to my wife for picking up on this.
So while we’ll always take those large family shots around the holidays.
I want to make a concerted effort to photograph the fact that I still carry each of the children on my back up to bed each night.
I want to capture the routine of my wife making from-scratch-pancakes each and every Sunday morning.
I want to document the much more subtle and understated celebrations of the kids 1/2 birthdays.
Maybe most of you are more evolved than I am and have been on top of these moments with your respective families. If so, you rock. But for me, I know my goal is to now be mega aware of capturing these smaller moments in time. The kids are 13 and 10 right now and those precious kid years are diminishing way too fast.