Mommy Musings

Dreaded Project, Unexpected Joy

I hit the treasure trove of Mommy Memories this weekend when I unintentionally tackled a project that has hung over my head for YEARS: organizing the box of family home movies.  

Every year for the past several years, this project tops my to do wish list.  I counted 30 of these dvds — UNLABELED.  One reason I have put this off for so many years (aside from the time needed), is the guilt I felt at not having kept up with this along the way.  It seemed highly possible that I wouldn’t remember how old/what grade the kids were in when the footage was shot.  Big strike against me as the family historian.

Five years of dreading this project and beating myself up for details lost turned into unexpected joy, when, finding myself with some unplanned downtime this weekend, I jumped into organization mode, and realized three things:

1.  It didn’t take nearly as much time as I thought it would.

2.  My camera kept an accurate record of the exact date (and year!) of when every single piece of footage was recorded — thank you technology!  And thank you to whomever set the camera up correctly in the first place! (probably my husband) Plus I had forgotten that every time I recorded something, I started with a narration of where we were, how old the kids were, etc.  Whew!

3.  Most importantly: I never gave myself enough credit for all the footage that I actually have.  There are hours and hours of the kids playing sports, at school, celebrating holidays and birthdays, and just captured childhood.  I hadn’t realized.

What a delight and relief to be pulled back in time, watching my kids in miniature.  Seeing my now 14-year-old celebrate at his 5th birthday party; hearing my 17-year-old son’s sweet voice when he was just little and walking to school for his first day of second grade, asking which friends were in his class; listening to the teeny-tiny voice of my 7-year-old daughter as a toddler, singing the “baby-c’s”.  (You know that one, baby, c, d, e, f, g…)  In these little vignettes, suddenly, I let myself off the hook.  How many times have I scolded myself for not having my camcorder with me, agonized at how fast the years go with the kids and ultimately resigned myself to the fact that I’m not capturing all the moments I want to?   That may well be true, but my Mommy Mind is SO relieved and grateful for what I do have.  Gratitude wins! Having these dvds now cataloged is a bonus.  

So watch out kids — I’ve got some real treasures to contribute to your wedding montage someday! And now I know exactly where to find them.

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3 thoughts on “Dreaded Project, Unexpected Joy

  1. Stacy: I have had all the same feelings, and mine are still in VIDEO format! They are labeled. They will have to be transferred to DVDs someday. Your organizational skills are awesome. I gasped when I saw your “library” on the shelf! You have recorded “enough” of your childrens’ activities–enough to show them how much you and Craig care, and to give them a representative sample of their special childhood moments. I’m so glad you could be proud of what you have done, instead of feeling that you “could have done more.” Many of us have that problem, which frustrates and makes us unhappy with ourselves. It’s a constant struggle. I’m sure that your family will enjoy watching those DVDs at holiday times, when you are together. Enjoy them!

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