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Thursday, December 17, 2015


word of the day: duration \d-ˈrā-shən\ the time during which something continues

I realized the other day that almost all of the videos saved to my phone or computer are under a minute in duration.  

Do you know that my mom once videotaped an entire Christmas morning from start to finish? She set our camcorder on a tripod and let the magic unfold. (She also once recorded an entire patriotic light display at Mount Rushmore when I was in elementary school. We've really cherished that one forever, mom.) Jake comes from similar home videos. (I know because I have seen them all. This is not hyperbole.)

A few months ago, I was looking through the pictures on Jake's phone. He had this video saved of Lily from last spring, and it was three minutes of her jumping off the porch and laughing at herself. It was so mundane, and I loved every second of it. 
I've been thinking a lot about it since. 

It's important to me that our kids have tangible relics from their childhood. Call me old school, but I want them to flip through photo albums together and have video documentation of all the hilarious stuff they do. It pains me to think about their future memories being made up of 10 second snapchats they have to dig through my computer to find. 
So I have this camera. It's an actual camera (I'm not referring to my phone in this context). It takes really quality pictures, AND it has a live-action video feature. I have been using it, and it is changing my life (Yes, hyperbole here). No video is less than three minutes long, and they are all so boring. Five minutes of Christmas tree decorating. Three minutes of Lily, Norah, and me playing Ring around the Rosie. Two minutes of Lily dominating Jake at memory. The other day, I just followed the girls around and recorded everything they did even when they weren't really doing anything. It was wonderful.

It sounds a little silly, but it's so much less pressure. I don't have to worry about capturing a moment within a time frame short enough to be sent as a text message. It's almost like I can record a moment and be present in it at the same time. 
I suppose the holiday season reminds me of how much I value the creation and preservation of lasting memories for our kids. I'm not the only mom who feels a little paralyzed by this come Christmastime, am I? In a season teemed with tradition, how do you decide which ones to latch on to? There are so many aspects of this time of year that we could subscribe to, and for some reason, it sort of neutralizes me. So, in this strange response of over-analyzation and rebellion, I have realized that my tendency is to stray away from tradition all together and embrace something different each year.
Someday, Lily and Norah will watch all these recorded moments I'm trying to capture now. And amidst everything from the ordinary Thursday night to the excitement of the Christmas morning, I guess all I really want for them to see is that we are present in the moments in which we are together wherever we are and whatever we are doing. I want to live the Star Wars, guys. That's what really matters anyway, right?

That, and well-documented holidays. I think I need a tripod.

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