Before times passes by, create the memories
Editorial by Chris Kovatch
This past weekend I began the tedious task of determining how to transfer the videos from my miniDV camcorder tapes to digital files. These tapes contained a wide array of events ranging from non-graphic video of my children’s births (well actually Jackson and Rosie’s birth. Sorry Thayer!) to numerous Christmas celebrations. As I sat and watched the videos play out on the screen, I believe I began to feel what Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold was feeling in that famous Christmas Vacation attic scene. Time is flying by.
The images flashing on the screen showed me a time when my older kids actually got along with each other. It showed me that I used to have time to sit and video one of the babies crawling on the floor for thirty minutes at a time. It also made me realize that my babies aren’t babies anymore.
People have told me time and again to enjoy the time with my kids while they are kids. It goes by too fast. Normally, that advice goes in one ear and out the other. Luckily, this gut punch via home videos has caused me to step back and see the truth in that statement. I have limited time left with my kids in the ‘living at home’ stage.
The videos also helped me realize what a good job I used to do documenting the older kids’ lives and what a crummy job I have done with the younger kids. I am not one to scrapbook. I rarely print out pictures. I don’t take the younger kids to have pictures taken regularly like I did with the older ones. I think this trend that is occurring in our family occurs in many others. I have one saving grace. My old friend Facebook. Thankfully I like to share things the kids say or things they have done. I post pictures of them quite regularly. A sort of scrapbook of their life exists, whether it was intentional or not. This newsfeed of our life tells our story.
Christi surprised me at Christmas with bound copies of all of the posts, pictures, and other items I had shared on Facebook since I joined this social media outlet. These books mean the world to me. It is amazing to flip through and relive moments with the kids. They are also a neat sort of legacy that will be left behind when I am gone. They are our story.
With all this said, I urge families to take time to truly pause and be a family. We run so much and we lose sight of what matters most-each other. Stay at home and watch a movie together. Play board games. Go ride bikes. Make memories. I also recommend taking a look at how you record these memories. It is very easy to procrastinate and put things off. The sad truth is that days turn into weeks which turn into years and we forget the milestones that we intended to remember. Record them in the moment or shortly thereafter. You will appreciate it years from now and so will your kids.