It's been said that life is not a dress rehearsal. I can attest to that because no amount of rehearsal could have prepared me for the life I have been living.
I've recently written about having our family videos transferred to DVDs. As a result we've been spending each Friday evening watching a couple of year's worth. It's fun to see yourself younger, the kids younger, our whole family frozen in time. We spent last Friday night in 1996. 1996 birthdays, spring flowers, baseball, summer BBQs, guitar recitals, Halloween and Hawaii. 1996, when at 40, I still wore a small two piece bathing suit and wasn't afraid to dance around a crappy North Shore Oahu beach shack with a Budweiser. 1996, when the boys were fresh-faced and excited about being on their first trip to the islands.
As we watched this video with Christian and Gina, I could sense some discomfort from Christian during the aforementioned dance scene. Finally he turned to me laughing and said, "Did you think NO ONE would ever see these videos?" He was kidding of course, but it got me to thinking. I guess I didn't care. I was being me, enjoying the moment and having fun.
I have noticed a common thread in our family movies. They are not quiet. They are not serene, except for the 20 minute video of a Maui sunset. Who knew it took that long? Often the boys or I aren't even in the shot. Jim is filming fire or the backyard or waves and you can hear our family life unfolding in the background. They are funny and active and always...always music is playing in the background. Often, when we watch the videos, Jim or I will comment about a song being so many years old. Music can date you. But music can be a soundtrack for your family. Every Christmas morning we start with "Happy Christmas". Not the John Lennon "War is Over" one, but another one that came from "An American Songbook", an album (remember those) that Jim picked up in the early 70's. Each year we captured the excitement and sounds of a day that begins before dawn. But, I digress...
Here's my point: If the boys pull out these films 10, 20 or 30 years from now they will see that we lived. We really lived our lives. We have lived a life; full and rich. Jim and I gathered in Christian and Nathaniel to document the important events and the everyday stuff. If, after we're gone, they take comfort in that thought, then every penny spent on preserving those slices of Anger Family history will have been worth it.
If you're waiting...stop it and start!