Raw Life Footage


“Time to buy stock in Kodak.” — investment advice I received as a new father.  I’m amazed at how many “Kodak Moment” photos and hours of video we shot in those early years.  As a newbie dad I remember propping my arms on my daughter’s crib trying to hold the video camera steady in anticipation of capturing her first time rolling over.  It was like watching a pot boil.  As my arms tired, the temptation grew to help matters along by giving the crib a little tilt.  Then it happened.  “Whoo hoo.  She did it!”  And I’ve got all those hours leading up to it on tape.

Early Raw Life at the Gates'

Early raw life at the Gates'

Fast forward twenty years later and I get to witness another Kodak Moment.  This time in replay.  Returning home late after a trip, I discover my wife and two youngest teenage sons laughing at old videos we had taken of them when they were young.  Birthday celebrations, homemade “talent” shows and basketball games – they were all there.  Along with something else.  Real life.

Tucked into many of those Kodak Moments was a little bit of rebellion, a little bit of selfishness and, of course, the corresponding fatigue on the faces of mom and dad trying to hold themselves steady throughout the early years.  I remember my wife asking, “Why do the years go by so fast and the days go by so slow?”

But yesterday’s Kodak Moments become today’s teachable ones.  As the tapes were put away, both sons asked, “Were we always so much work?”  As young adults, they could now perceive that between the takes of all the good times recorded for posterity there were parenting challenges as well. Had I only known that earlier, I might have left the camera on just a bit longer to capture more of the unfiltered, raw footage of  real life. On the other hand, perhaps the camera would have caught some of my behavior challenges as well.

SOUND OFF:  What are ways you are preserving and using the raw life footage of your family?


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