Thursday, February 26, 2009
Evidently, I have a thing for F words
When a friend of mine told me about flickr four years ago, I knew I was going to be hooked the first time I visited the Web site. I can say - without hesitation - that since my first upload, flickr has altered my perspective just as surely as marriage and motherhood has changed my life.
Having a place to file images for easier recall, for me, is one of the best things about the photographers' network. Finding it a real source in meeting like-minded photographers and parents has been, perhaps, one of the most unexpected but extremely rewarding benefits.
As in most fairytales, there comes a point in the story where some troll or another enters the serenity to cause havok and upset ... and for me the troll that reared its ugly head in my fanasty land was video.
You see, where "still" pictures create some kind of enchanted kingdom for me, I've never really gotten the hang of moving pictures. I can't control the images ... I can't follow the movement ... I don't really know how to edit and the downloading just seems like drudgery.
When videos of my flickr friends' kids started seeping into to my "contacts" steams I started tuning out.
Part of it, I thought, was my desire to just see still images. On flickr, I reasoned, children should be seen and not heard. But then I realized it was because each and every little arrow denoting a collection of moving pictures, just reminded me that I only had a handful of videos to remind me of Annabel's baby self or her tiny voice and none ... of Silas' early laugh.
It pains me that I don't have more moving pictures of my children, especially since my father has my first steps on 8 mm film. FILM.
I am the product of a gadget generation and yet I couldn't get the hang of a camcorder with tape. Go figure.
So in the New Year when another friend pressed a Flip into my hand at a party and insisted I check it out, I knew I was going to be hooked the instant I held the sleek, phone-sized gadget and saw only one button ... .
What is this ... a Flip?
It took a nearly two months, but that F word kept haunting me.
Her voice was changing.
He was getting more words.
She was singing her own songs.
He was getting faster and faster on the PlasmaCar.
I broke down and bought one. In the three days since I've had it, I've been holding it as Annabel ate cereal with chopsticks, sang songs and told stories ... while silas raced down the hall, fiddled with lollipops and reprogramed my computer.
They're not the best images ever; but they're perfect for me. They are easy to take, easy to download, easy to upload ... and even the kids - BOTH of them - have learned how to view and record.
I know I'll probably regret letting them run around with my new toy, and I'll probably have a few standard expletives if it returns with chips or dents. The phrases will be worse, I expect, if I find it floating in the commode. But my kids don't seem phased ... they know I have a thing for F words.