Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Break out the home movies!

The person in our family who gets most excited about watching old videos of our kids is not even, biologically speaking, a member of our family.

She is Lyndsey, my son Jared's girlfriend. Like all of the significant others in our little circle, we have long considered her to be part of the family despite what both the government and DNA evidence might suggest.

It's Lyndsey who, when a group of us find ourselves together in the living room, will excitedly say, "Let's watch home movies!"

This prompts me to retrieve a small plastic bin from our closet containing nearly 40 DVDs full of home videos we've shot over the years, along with a multi-page printout detailing exactly what can be found on each DVD and what year(s) it was shot.

I am nothing if not organized.

Lyndsey is the one who selects a disc to watch, and I then pop it into the Blu-Ray player for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Mine was really the first generation with easily accessible video cameras that documented our lives from infancy through high school and beyond. People had movie cameras prior to that, of course, but I didn't know many of them, and they simply weren't as prevalent as those VHS cams that could be seen all around school sporting events and concerts back in my day.

The current generation, of course, has had their lives captured on digital video (mostly via smartphone) from the moment they emerged from the womb. Seeing themselves on a TV screen is nothing to them.

At some point a few years ago, I decided to convert our old VHS and camcorder tapes into a digital format before those old magnetic media deteriorated or otherwise bit the dust. It was a long project, but I'm glad I did it.

The footage we have covers a period ranging from 1988, when I graduated high school, through about 2012, when we started shooting most things on our phones and storing them directly onto hard drives or Facebook.

Watching this stuff is a lot of fun, particularly when the kids get to see themselves as newborns (and in the case of Melanie, from the time she was just a few minutes old and still covered in goo while laying in the hospital warmer).

I so wish we had video footage of Terry and me as infants. But alas, we were born in the very late 60s. It just wasn't that common back then.

So we've made up for it by building a library of video clips of all of our kids. We may be compensating a little.

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