Keeping Memories Alive: The Importance of Photos and Video

Every once in a while, one of my friends with children younger than mine will ask me a question about my kids’ development – when they started doing this or that, what their first words were and when they said them, or how potty training went with so-and-so. I am always shocked to realize that I’ve forgotten so many of the little details of my children’s younger years.

How often have you said the words, “I will never forget this moment!” only to discover years down the road that the details of that event have faded in your memory?

keeping memories alive

The forgotten trip

I had a particularly poignant experience with fading memories regarding a trip I took to Mexico when I was a young, single adult. That trip has been a living reminder of the importance of photos and videos in keeping my memories alive.

My college roommate and I decided to take a long weekend getaway to Mexico the summer after my sophomore year of college. I had spent the previous summer on a study abroad in Mexico and I was confident that I could be a great tour guide.

As soon as we arrived back in the US, I rushed in to the one-hour photo and dropped off my roll of film to be developed. I couldn’t wait to see the pictures of our adventures. I was horrified to discover later that day that my entire roll of film had been eaten by one of the developing machines and not a single photo could be processed.

Crushed, I went back home and went on with my summer. Now, years later, I have few memories of that trip. If nothing else, my trip to Mexico proved to me that my memory is visually linked. Trips that I took before that year and the countless trips I’ve taken since have stayed alive in my memory for two reasons: 1) I take many pictures and 2) I regularly take them out to view, enjoy, and remember.

The not-forgotten childhood

Determined that I wouldn’t let another memory be “lost,” I have been diligent with taking photos and videos throughout my kids’ growing up years. Although so many of the details have faded (When, exactly, did AJ start walking?!) there are other treasures whose memories will live on and not be forgotten because I captured them on film.

How else would I remember just how silly my 2nd daughter’s “crazy eyes” eye trick was (she can no longer do this)…

Or how would I remember the somersault she taught herself to do in my mom’s spa?

Those little, everyday moments caught on camera, and especially those caught on video camera, remain vivid in my memory. But those memories are only refreshed when I pull out the photos and videos and actually view them.

This year, I am embarking on a project to keep more memories alive. I’ve got hundreds of short clips of my kids singing, dancing, taking their first steps, performing at concerts, and countless other ordinary activities. As my kids get older, I want to remember those early days and I know the best way I can do that is to relive the moments that we shared together.

It may be a big job to gather all of the little video clips I have, but I can’t wait to have them made into a DVD with YesVideo and watch them together as a family.

Do you have video clips or photos that are stored away somewhere that need to be brought out, organized, and enjoyed again? Join me in keeping your family memories alive in 2013!