Friday, August 13, 2010

Digital Memories

In this digital age all new families have an enormous collection of pictures of their children. Ours already number in the thousands. It is even feasible to have a picture of every day of a child's life. We will never forget our children's faces and how they changed over the years. Neither will we forget any of the important moments in their lives because they will all be recorded and stored on hard drives, CDs, and DVDs.

But what about all those other moments? Will we still remember to cherish every little moment whether we have camera in hand or not?  Can our minds, now trained to look through picture after picture for our favorite experiences, still contain memories of their own?  Will we throw aside the crutch from time to time to view things through our minds eye?

I was thinking about this a few days ago when I was giving Braden a bath. Actually the bathing was done, and we were playing. Braden has a big box of those foam letters and numbers that stick to the tub and the tile. We use them to learn letters and sounds. Sometimes we stick them on Braden. This night we were throwing them at the tiled shower wall trying to get them to stick.

Braden was humming them about 60 mph and I was collecting a few of his rebounds as they came screaming by my ears. I was using a letter throwing technique that I learned from Arica the night before when we did the same thing. I was spinning the letters as I tossed them, trying to balance the strength of my throw. The toss has to be hard enough to make the letters stick, but soft enough so they don't bounce off.

While doing this I wondered if I would ever tell Braden about the times we spent throwing our ABC's at the bathroom wall. I wondered if I would ever tell him about the three weeks we spent feeding turkeys and raccoons for our Japanese neighbor. Will I share with him how many minutes we stood at the storm door just to look at "Daddy Tuck" parked in the road. Which of these seemingly innocent things will become memories of my own.

You never know which memories are destined to become lasting. You never know when you are living in a moment that will transcend time. Some moments actually become part of who you are forever. These moments aren't always on vacation or at birthday parties. They don't all occur at Christmas or Easter.  You never know when they will come so you don't always have your camera ready.

I think the key is to slow down and enjoy every moment. I hope I can learn to better live in the moment and enjoy exactly what I am doing with Braden and Arica. My impatience is certain to cost me many special times if left unchecked. I plan to keep working on that because I don't want to miss any opportunity to form lasting memories. As long as my mind stays sharp I plan to remember some of these little things to share as stories in the future.

And in case my memory goes I sure am glad that I have this blog.


Brandy said...

very insightful. and there are all those little things / daily things that make up a life.

Mama Badger said...

How very true. I wrote a few weeks ago about "mental pictures". Those times that are emblazened on our memory, but no where else. Hopefully, your letter throwing becomes one of those!

ps- bubbles in the bath help the letters stick.

otin said...

You will share those memories with him. Something will happen that will trigger you to say...I remember one time when.....

Jeremy said...

Well written. I wonder the same. Thank goodness we have a blog for our daughter and I have a blog on my fathering experiences.

Really being in the moment is so essential, and yet so easy to fail at. When my daughter is doing something adorable, or exhibiting some new developmental leap I am often quick to get the camera because I don't want to miss the moment and capture it for the memory. And sometimes I stop and realize that is antithetical to being in the moment.

SurprisedMom said...

"You never know when you're living in a moment that will transcend time."

How true this is. This statement just struck me. I know that there are moments I will never forget (hopefully) about my girls younger days.

And there were moments that took my breath away, because somehow I had the patience to slow down and really live them.

I wish I had blogged when my girls were little, because, as with so much of life, there are moments I have forgotten.

Rob said...

I agree with you 100%. Life sometimes seems like it is in fast forward and it is hard to remember everything but like you said if you slow down and cherish every moment you will remeber all of these awesome moments. It is hard to do that though. True me cause I am an impatient person also.

Manic Mommy said...

This post gave me such a happy smile this morning. I love the image you created.

I've been mentally writing about a day HRH and I shared recently. And I often think the blog is my memory keeper.

Captain Dumbass said...

Good post, Otter.

KWG said...

We take lots of pictures and video as well, but you're right, it's those "in the moment" moments we experience with our kids that are magical. Or anyone we care about for that matter.

PJ Mullen said...

I agree, our blogs will definitely help us remember the little things that don't get captured on video or on camera. For every picture I have there are probably three other memories that I hope I will be able to retain

Katherine said...

Love that last line! So true.

I wonder about those same things. Right now, Ethan likes to point at certain things in his books and's not a real, gut-wrenched's the kind of laugh that says, "I think that's funny." I can't really describe it. I wonder if I'll ever share with him how much time we spent reading.....and laughing at the silly lion or blue fish.

Great post!