Last night, my children, husband and I cuddled on our sofa and watched old videos. My kids are 6 and 9 so it’s not that they are SO old, but this has become a favorite family pastime of ours. We all have our favorites, and for different reasons. The kids delight in seeing themselves when they were younger and my husband and I love seeing how much the kids have grown and how far we have come as a family.
While nostalgia fills the air, this tradition of ours also reminds us just how precious life is and what really matters. This is especially true as we have lost my husband’s mother last year. The first few times we engaged in this pastime, we had to skip over those videos that featured my mother-in-law. The pain was too raw and the feelings were a bit too much and too soon for my husband. There is one particular video that has us in stitches every single time we watch it, and in that video, my mother-in-law features prominently. Last night, while I gave my husband a gentle squeeze, we watched this video in its entirety. We laughed and rejoiced at the memory, at her memory, and were ever-grateful that we had captured such a precious moment on film.
And I needed this reminder. I find this pastime especially helpful during emotional or difficult times. When I’m caught up in the trivial, seeing my children delight in their younger selves grounds me and centers me in a way that few other things can. Experiencing our past together as a family is especially rewarding and reminds me of who I was as a person and who I am now. I especially love hearing my daughter squeal “look what she is doing!” about her younger self and my son basking in the love and adoration that can be felt from the plethora of videos we took of him before his little sister came along. For each of us, we are reminded of some very important and fundamental truths of ourselves and it is these reminders that will help sustain this tradition for years to come.
What pastimes have you developed as a family? Are there any rituals that you perform that center and ground you? Please share!