Thursday, December 18, 2008

Home Movie

I think the best gift
we ever got for Christmas
was a camcorder.

This was back in 1995
when those things were
huge heavy boxes that you
had to balance on your shoulder
and smash your eye onto
the peep hole to see the action.

They took bulky expensive batteries
and VHS tapes.
A few good memories could fill
an entertainment center pretty quickly-
Each tape the size of a novel.

But, to us-
on that particular Christmas-
it was the ultimate in tech gifts.
We filmed everything
from the snow falling outside
to the dog playing fetch.

And we captured the opening of gifts
on Christmas morning.

The kids were young then.
Full of excitement and hope.
Cuddled around the tree
in flannel pj's-
waiting for "Dad" to say "Start".

I will never forget the reactions
to the Earth Bound Game-
the sport logo coat,
the Guess watch,
the boom box
and the brown slacks.
(But, you had to be there...)

And one reason I'll never forget
is that every year
we dust off the VCR
and watch them all again.
Probably three or four years
of Christmas's captured forever-
(and then the giant camcorder
battery became obsolete
and we retired the miracle to the junk room.)

I love re-watching us load the kids into
our brand new truck-
their knees and elbows strapped with guards
for a run in their new roller blades.
We drove to the school parking lot
and laughed the entire time
they pretended to play hockey
on the asphalt.
There were scrapes and bumps
and slips and falls.
There were "blown buckles"
and good-natured teasing-
and a huge, wonderful day
of Christmas memories.

It is sad to watch sometimes.
We look so young.
And the kids grew up so fast.
We see old pets and past vehicles
and discarded home decor.

You can almost smell
the tree
and the ham cooking
and feel the frost outside.

What has happened to all the years
in between?
I cannot even remember the past few

But, 1995 will forever be in my heart.

Tonight, I'll go back there.

I'll turn out the lights,
push in the VHS tape,
and watch it all unfold again
right before my eyes.

I'll laugh.
I'll cry.
I'll fondly remember it all...