I showed the kids a video of C as a baby this morning. In the video she was about six weeks old. I hear my voice on the recording, pleading with her to smile for me and for a brief moment she obliges, followed quickly by a soft cooing sound, but for the most part it is a video of C in her bouncy seat staring past the camera and right at me. Her eyes are big, her cheeks are chubby.
The kids wanted to watch it over and over again, and soon I stopped watching the video and I watched them. C was mesmerized, a genuinely happy smile spread across her face as she watched the baby version of herself. I saw in her eyes what a special moment it was- she was seeing a treasure.
Baby E kept repeating the word Baby, which means he thought the baby was himself. And Big E watched in fascination as his sister cooed. They couldn’t look away.
There are no videos of me as a baby. Video cameras were in their infancy, and it was rare for a family to have one. I think I was in late elementary school before I saw myself on video. When I was in high school, one of my best friends had one and a few of us would get together every weekend and shoot with it.
I remember when C was born, I videotaped almost everything about her. There’s a five minute video somewhere of her sleeping. Just sleeping. Nothing else. The longest, most boring five minutes of footage, but at that moment it was gold.
The thing about video, as it differs from pictures, is that I rarely go back to it. I scan through photos all the time, but I rarely sit down to watch videos. Strange isn’t it, since videos are my profession. Maybe that’s why I set them aside. There’s something about a photo that is so special to me. It captures a single moment in time… an expression… a look… an emotion. There is so much information in just that one moment. Video doesn’t do that. Video tells a story in a very literal way. Photos tell a story with your heart.
Don’t get me wrong, video is great for many things- capturing someone’s voice, their mannerisms, and their stories. And watching the looks on my children’s faces this morning, I am so grateful that I took the time to take those videos when she was just a baby. My only regret is that there are few of Big E and fewer still of Baby E, but what they lack in videos, I think they more than make up for in photos! 😉