marko at the munchkin wrangler has a post extolling the simple, wondrous pleasures of fatherhood, of sharing the innocence that is your flesh and blood experiencing the world for the very first time.
that quickly took me back and before you know it, my response had become it's own bittersweet post...
my son, my youngest child with two older sisters, is now 24 years old and a business owner.
20 years ago when he was four, i sold my pawn store and took a year off before starting a new one…i spent that year almost fulltime with my son, and that time is now one of the most cherished memories of my life.
in 1988 video cameras were a cutting-edge novelty, and i took one home from the pawnshop, about the size of a small suitcase…and during the year that i spent with eric, the last year before school took over as his main focus and influence, i took snippets of video of my beautiful son and me…
he amazed me with his depth of understanding, of love, of empathy...i had some of the deepest and most soulful conversations of my life with a four year old child.
a few minutes of video driving our little suzuki samurai around the sand trails near our home…eric shooting my old childhood .22 with me filming and doing dumbass olympics competition commentary…him learning to ride a bike without training wheels around the baseball diamond…us swimming and talking in nearby lake jackson and throwing a tennis ball for our two loyal cur dogs…watching a wading bird spear and swallow a good-sized water snake…and eric steering the little samurai along the lakeshore all by himself, with the suzuki creeping along in double-low 4×4 and me walking alongside, again doing dopey voiceovers…
how could i have known that this one vhs videotape, which also includes footage of my sweet daughters at Christmastime that same year…would be the only one we ever made?…the camcorder is a pain to carry around and ends up sitting on the shelf, you’ll always film the next event or get together, and before you know it…
before you know it and in the blink of an eye…twenty years have passed, and you sit with your wife now and then, and watch that old video, and feel the most awesome sense of love, and melancholy, and sadness…and pride.
it sounds corny...but my friend, embrace, and cherish,...and record...the moment and the feeling...it's gone before you can turn around, and it's never coming back.
I couldn't agree more. When I was a kid, we had one of those dinosaur VHS camcorders and we took all kinds of video. Now my wife and I have one of the little bitty camcorders and we hardly use it. I really must try harder to capture my daughters life on film. At the very least so I can use it to blackmail her into mowing the lawn!
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