Zen-like Contemplation

I purchased a video camera a few weeks ago, thinking that it would be fun in a couple of years to watch videos of Cora when she was a baby. Actually, the fun of watching the videos didn?t really play very heavily in the purchase decision. What did play heavily was the idea that, when Cora was older and more of her own person, and when my ideas of responsible parenting ran headlong into the ginsu-knife-wielding ninja of her sense of personal freedom, I could sit down and watch videos of when she was a little baby and couldn?t imagine anything more enjoyable than playing in my lap and blowing raspberries at the camera.

Anyway, I was filming Cora tonight as she was playing with Tina?s hands. Little girl, one hand gripping mom’s thumb, the other hand gripping mom’s pinky finger. Great footage for me in twelve years when I need to remember how simple parenting used to be. This is the sort of thing that I’ll want to remember, right?

Well, as I was watching the playback of this beautiful scene, I realized that the most dated part of watching this footage in twelve years won’t be seeing little Cora: tiny, perfect, and completely mine. The dated part will be listening to my own running commentary, and hearing me mention Cora’s “Zen-like contemplation” of her mother’s fingers. Zen-like contemplation? Am I a Zen master? No. Do I have any special affinity for eastern religions? No. That reference comes to me entirely out of pop culture: Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme and the rest.

When I bought the video camera, I imagined that having a window back on when Cora was little would make me smile. I hadn’t considered that Cora might smile, too, but for a different reason. These tapes record her parents when they were much younger than she’ll ever be able to remember us. Probably more than watching the things we do on tape, listening to the things that we say might be a great way for Cora to get to know the us that we were when we started to raise her, and to help her understand the joy and the wonder and the uncertainty we felt when raising her was a brand new proposition.