We’ve all seen the stereotypical scene…a family sits down to watch old homemade videos of family gatherings. All you get is minutes of Uncle Harry snoring or minutes of someone swinging.
As we get ready to launch our second child from the quiver, we are gathering up all the pictures and videos so that we can do what everyone else is doing…put together a video CD with clips and pics of OUR GIRL. When you watch those family videos a few years after you shoot them, they are cute but there isn’t much to see. And, you lose interest pretty quickly. And, I have to admit, I’m not the best videographer in the world. I confess that I would have taken those shots of Uncle Harry snoring or a seemingly endless amount of time looking at one of our children in a car seat doing absolutely nothing. Of no interest to anyone—including me.
So, last night we are sitting around and going through some of the videos of the family. Whereas maybe there isn’t a lot to viewing those a couple years old, it’s kind of fun to watch 14 year old videos to see and remember what the kids were like way back when (and to see that I actually only had one chin and could wear tight fitting shirts—and snicker at some of the hair styles my beautiful wife employed—can’t believe I let her get it cut like some of the styles she had but what could I do? That’s one of the most dangerous questions husbands get—“How do you like my hair”—-STAY AWAY from that one….you can’t win.) Anyway, as we’re watching them, my graduating daughter is actually analyzing what’s going on in the videos.
There was a great scene where our youngest is sitting on the bed reading a bible story book. She has a grumpy look on her face for some reason. Erin, our older daughter comes in (she’s about 5 and Jaclyn is about 3) and goes up to her and gives her a kiss. Not once. Not twice. But four times. We are all saying, “Oh, how cute”. Then, Jaclyn makes a kind of grunting noise and with the force of Muhammad Ali, shoves Erin away and says “Doooonnnn’t”. We all chuckle at the cuteness of that moment some 13 years ago. But, the now older Erin doesn’t think it’s quite so cute. Instead she makes a comment that “some things never change”.
It is kind of fun to look back and to see that there are certain characteristics that are imprinted on each of us and it doesn’t matter if we 5 or 55 we will respond to something the same way. I think it will be interesting over the next 10-15 years as a whole generation who have grown up with video cameras being as much a part of the home as microwaves were after being introduced when I was a kid. Pretty soon they are just a part of the everyday living. And, for most of our homes with those video cameras, I have a sense that there will be much more analysis of why Chucky is the way he is today or why Jimmy and Sally never have gotten along. Too many “tongues’ being stuck out at each other or why Heather is always fussy about food after seeing her always eating a PB&J sandwich in the video clips. Most of all, what they’ll probably reveal is that as much as things change, many things are still the same–at 3, 33 or 83.