Early this morning, as the three of us lolled about in bed -- two of us pretending there would be hours yet before we needed to get up -- newly six-month-old Isaac jerked himself into a sitting position.
My husband dove for the video camera, feverishly unwrapping one of the little tapes, biting at the plastic wrap with his teeth. I did what I've found is best in these situations.
"Give me the camera, sweetie. I'll tape him."
But this particular morning, my husband said, "Nooo" in the funny little voice that can mean either "yes" or "no."
I would describe for you, here, how I look at 6:30 in the morning, but I think we all have enough grotesque in our lives already.
"Then we'll do it later," I said.
No, my husband insisted, we'll do it now -- and there was a tussle over the video camera. I finally won and he stormed off to the kitchen to make breakfast.
Six months ago, when my husband brought up the idea of this extravagant, life-invading purchase, I vetoed the video camera. However, my father insisted on giving us one and, for the sake of overseas relatives, I agreed.
Still, we battle. My husband wants to show "all of life," whereas I think a few key moments should be plenty. My husband wants to show "the whole family interacting," whereas I want to see my fat arms on video about as much as I want to dance naked in the street.
At root, our philosophies differ. I would prefer to let my mind control the editing process. I would prefer to live through the moment and move on, remembering things as I can. I believe a photo can evoke a memory while a videotape confronts you with just how hideous you looked that morning, with how whiny and controlling you were about the damn video camera.
My husband would prefer that we be journalists of our own lives, that we record all of it faithfully so that, in the end, we can relive the truth of how things really were -- tears and all.
I'm sure his way is good -- perhaps best -- but I'm a storyteller at heart, not a journalist. And I'm afraid that the bigger truths -- that we loved each other, that we enjoyed ourselves, that we did our best -- can be overwhelmed by the details.