Friday, March 8, 2013

Dear Capturing Memories


Dear Capturing Memories,

You are the reason why we own things such as cameras, camcorders, journals, and--whaddaya know--blogs.  But the simple act of possessing these things is not enough.  And that's where I sometimes need a little nudge.

We've all seen it.  Children's performances on stage bring forth a myriad of recording devices: cameras, phones, camcorders, and even tripods and iPads.  The camera flashes, the shutter clicks, and out-of-range hums of countless digital screens--all working simultaneously to capture a Moment in Time. 

Outside of stage performances, there are also lots of reasons to have the recording devices on and ready to go.  These captured memories could be as mundane as a clip of an outdoor sand and water table play or a weekly gymnastics lesson--to something more momentous such as baby's first bite of solid food or a birthday party celebration.  Whatever the occasion, get the footage on video; snap the photos on film memory card; or record the events down in writing.  They will become priceless memories.

But I must give full credit to Dear Husband who is always the one to make sure the camera and camcorder batteries are charged for every child-related event or performance.  He is the one who packs them into our bags so that they are ready to capture the violin recitals or school holiday shows.  Around here, DH is known as the Picture Tyrant: he'll stick a camera in your face and snap and flash as he pleases.  He'll take the disgruntled complaints now, and wait for the thank-yous later.  Because eventually, we all thank him. 


It seems like a chore, interrupting the ongoings of an event to click buttons--at least to me it does, and that's why I'm not on top of it--but a few short years down the line, we reap the rewards.  During the process of transferring old family video footage from film to DVD, we had the opportunity to watch what happened in our daily lives when the kiddos were much younger.  Because they find it interesting to see their younger selves, the kiddos always gathered around the TV to see what comes up on the screen.  The span of emotions ranged from self-conscious embarrassment (Dear Daughter turns red when she sees herself in anything princess-y) to outright denial (Dear Son not owning up to his baby chubby cheeks) to massive maternal gushing (my endless "awwwws" and "oh-my-goodness-will-you-look-at-my-babies!" in a high-pitched squeaky voice).  All the while, DH would sit back, arms behind his head, smiling smugly, knowing that he kept these memories alive.

Thanks, honey.  You done good. 

But his accomplishment does not just end there.  You see, footage we see on screen are much more meaningful if there were exciting and memorable experiences attached to them--meaning, effort made to do something or go somewhere special.  Well, I'm one of those peeps who is perfectly content sitting on the couch with a laptop, a good book, or something mindless to watch on TV.  I self-proclaim the ability to "grow roots" on my very own couch.  Suffice it to say--not very fun for the kiddos.  So DH has to somehow get me off my lazy bum to go do something fun--for the kiddos.  Which is not an easy feat.

DH suggested that we go sledding this past weekend.  Which, in my book, is about one tiny notch more favorable than cleaning the house.  To bundle up and go into the cold and slide high speed down a hill, is, well, just not as enticing as my warm home, comfy couch, and a nice cup of tea.  But I knew the kiddos were pining to go, so we geared up in our snow wear and off we went.




And just like the time DH hauled my ass convinced me to go hiking on a nature trail, or the time he drove us to a beautiful beach on a road trip last summer, I had the time of my life--sledding.  You see, I wasn't keen on going hiking because I thought the kiddos would protest walking a long distance in the woods; I was wrong.  They did not complain once during the 1.7 mile-long hike, and I had a chance to snap an awesome collection of nature photos.  Likewise, I thought I would despise the sand-and-sunscreen combination and the overpowering sun on the beach; I was wrong again.  I thoroughly enjoyed the warm sun, the gentle breeze, refreshing water, and <gasp> the gritty sand, because we were on vacation.

So we have done some baby-sledding in our backyard where there's a decent incline, but this time, we went to a park district preserve with a number of slopes designated for sledding in the winter.  Because DH was in charge of his electronic devices, I was the chosen DS-co-pilot.  And it turned out to be one exhilarating experience for me--I think I screamed down the entire way every. single. time.  I kept thinking that my old bones are too stiff for this activity, but it never did stop me.  The adrenaline-rush sliding down, fast, was outta this world.   And DH?  You can almost see it (in the first picture above): he's down the hill with a camera in one hand and a camcorder in the other, doing his job capturing these memories, cuz that's how he rolls, yo.


That night, we decided that it probably would be be worthwhile--for our memories' sake and to take advantage of the precious seasonal changes of the year--that we make it a point to always do the following at least once: go to the beach in the summer (definitely more than once), go hiking in the spring and fall (a manageable goal), and go sledding in the winter (hopefully more than once).  Our Seasonal Musts.  Declared.



And a gentle word of advice for those of us who are always sometimes camera-shy: be in pictures and videos.  It's for the kids.  Years down the line, they will be able to revive fond memories of family footage or photos, and not just their own.  Truly, they won't see the bad-hair-day or I-look-fat side of you.  Instead, they will see family.

So, Dear Capturing Memories, thanks to DH, we accomplish your task periodically and with enthusiasm.  Sure, it takes a little more effort than growing roots, but the rewards are priceless.  Especially when captured and replayed back to view years down the line.  Because we bank our memories inside our mind vault named Nostalgia, we must make regular deposits in the form of visual images and relatable sentiments.  So onward we trudge with our cameras and camcorders and this blog.  I might not be good with all the technical devices, but I will keep writing my words here. 

How do you walk down memory lane?

Sincerely,
Me

10 comments:

  1. What a great reminder to make memories with your family and also to make sure you capture said memories for the future. I also love your seasonal commitments, as the activity might not change, but your experience doing them as your kids grow up certainly will.

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    1. Hi, Nilsa, what you said is *so true*! Our experiences will evolve even if the activities stay the same. Hopefully I'll get better at sledding so I'd be able to enjoy it more! (Thank you so much for sharing my post--REALLY appreciate that!)

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  2. So wonderful you have your husband who is the dedicated moment-capturer. Though with your phone and #fmsphotoaday, you're sure in competition ;). It's great that you are in the photos/videos but sometimes take the camera/camcorder from the hubs because I'm sure he wants to be in some. That's how I feel anyways, being the main photographer, I'm so glad when the hubs volunteers to take the camera (or I shove it in his face to take one, hehe). You are right. Kids won't remember bad hair days (ours anyways, hehe) or that we felt self conscious, they'll only remember the memories of being together!

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    1. Lisa, I hadn't mentioned my photography hobby here since this is about capturing family/kiddos memories . I do love to take pics, although they are entirely different in fashion. DH chronicles the kiddos' lives while I, well, take my IG photos. I guess I have the liberty to enjoy my hobby because DH is so good at maintaining the more important "album." But rest assured--I do take pics of him and the kiddos, because that is only fair. Since I make personalized calendars for both our families each holiday season, I have to make sure I have enough of everyone's shots throughout the year, so I do have that covered. But the one thing I really need to keep in check is pics of the four of us--those are hard to come by, so I do ask friends and family whenever an opportunity presents itself. Those, I think, are always my favorites. :) Thanks, Lisa!

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  3. Love the snow pics - I bet the kids had fun (I'd scream the entire way down the slope, too!)

    Capturing memories is great. I'm the designated photographer for our family. Every time my husband takes pictures they are blurry or heads are missing. I have to delete most of them. (I should probably keep them because the blurry might make me look better :))

    My kids like to go through photos once in a while. They like the stories of when they were too young to remember what they were doing in the pictures.

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    1. Hi, Janna! I'm a screamer, all right! Last time I went down a tube water slide, I screamed the whole way down. I may have embarrassed my daughter along the way...

      We have not been good about printing out photos, though, as DD has several "real" albums, while DS does not. The digital age has made us really lazy. But I think I will start making journal type photo-books with the kiddos this summer; it will be fun for them, educational, and good for keepsakes! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Oh, I love it! We went sledding last week, too. Or rather THEY went sledding - I missed it with my foot. But yes, I need to work on capturing those memories better, but more importantly, I need to do something with those memories once I've captured them. Too many of them are stored digitally, never to see the light of day again. Glad you had fun - AND have someone who will capture those memories so you're in a few of them at least.

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    1. Oh, it was so fun, Michelle! Yes, same here with the digital storing of memories. My little remedy for that is making my yearly calendars, which feature lots of pictures for each month of the year, so a little portion of my collection gets featured (and "printed"), haha! Otherwise, we just put our computer screensaver on these pics to see them every now and then... :)

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  5. So true, Sandra. Like yours, my own are so entertained by pictures of themselves when they were younger. It gives them a sense of belonging and comfort. They know that they are loved enough to make records of their growing up. Speaking as someone who did not have much family photos to go by, I know that these pictures and memories are precious. They are memory banks to draw from during difficult times but I do not have much of them.

    Anyway, your husband, once again, shows qualities of my own: dragging a reluctant wife - one who is so happy to grow roots on the couch - out even when she is kicking and screaming. Thank God for husbands like that - we get to have some fun. :-)


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    1. Hi, Imelda, photos definitely represent priceless memories. While I am sorry that you do not have many of your own, I am happy that you are creating memories and capturing still moments for your children to cherish! And yes, thank goodness we have our husbands who can take all the credit in providing some family fun. I guess we found ourselves some good melons. :) I love it when other families have similar nuances as we have!

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