Lately I've been considering all the ways I can document our son's birth along with all the firsts that will occur over the next year. We've purchased a camcorder so that we can easily carry it along to holiday gatherings and other places, so at least we'll capture all the milestones. We even started a video journal for little Wendell, taking some footage of his nursery room and recording a message before he arrives.
But it's so easy to get carried away with this stuff. For example, I considered buying a really nice still camera to take lots of high-quality photos; Danielle has the materials to start scrapbook, to knit scarves, and to create photo montages; and I've even thought about writing short stories from the point of view of an expecting father. There's just no limit to the amount of creative memory-keeping projects you can do! As a self-proclaimed writer, blogger, and movie maker, I feel sort of obligated to use these talents for the sake of my future son... and yet I wonder if it's not possible to go a little overboard.
Perhaps a little scarcity in the photo-taking and movie-making might be healthy. After all, how much more do I cherish the few movies that exist of my childhood because of the paucity of materials! Would I get the same nostalgic chills watching old movies if I had hundreds of hours of it, perfectly preserved? And the end goal is not to commit EVERY moment to film so that nothing is forgotten. Forgetfulness can be a blessing, too!
I suppose, like all things, there's a balance between capturing too many moments on film and too few. It'll be nice to be able to put together collages and montages for special events over the years, but perhaps it removes some of the fun if it's ALWAYS expected. Perhaps childhood is best preserved in our memories where details are provided not through celluoid or other storage media, but through fuzzy, imperfect neural connections which fill in the blanks with magic and wonder.
Things to consider moving forward. After all, the idea is to prepare our son for the future; not to create an immersive past he's afraid of leaving behind.