A love letter to my kids – February 23, 2019| Drayton Valley Family Filmmaker
We are undeniably fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a few days in Palm Springs every winter with my in-laws. If you live in Alberta, you know the winters can be brutally cold and snowy. Our family has been incredibly lucky to be able to escape the chilly weather with this annual trip for the last few years.
This year I wanted to create a family film for my kids that would capture one of our typical “Palm Springs” days. Most of our days are pretty chill; we spend the mornings on the patio or the couch with coffee, enjoy a warm breakfast, and then usually head to the pool. Heaven, if you ask me. Crazy, if you ask the locals. They always smile and tease us with the old “must be from Canada” line, appalled that we would dip a toe in the pool during February. I’m sorry, but anything above 20°C is pool weather in my books.
I love so many things about this film. I could seriously bore you with every little detail, but I’ll just list a few favourites:
-Our youngest running around in her underwear, carrying her blankie everywhere we go, and her insistence on wearing her hat backwards (she’s gangsta like that).
-Our middle daughter FINALLY gaining enough confidence to swim on her own with a life jacket.
-Our oldest learning to cook eggs, and the ABSURD amount of ketchup she and her sisters cover those eggs in.
-Their epic kitchen dance parties. Their matching jammies. Their giant floating turtle (you’ll see).
-The lyrics of the song. That day was a good good day, and I’m the first to admit how cheesy it sounds, but I really do hold them in my heart just like a treasure.
Everything is just SO THEM. Honestly, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop blabbering and let you view the film to see for yourself.
I didn’t know at the time, but events in the weeks following our day of filming would make me realize just how important it is to document ordinary but joy-filled moments like these. Our family suffered two profound losses during and after this trip. For the sake of respect and privacy, I’m not going to get much more detailed than that, but it really woke me up to the idea that we only have today. All we really have is what’s happening right now, and it’s basically IMPERITAVE to enjoy and be grateful for whatever your life is offering you at this moment.
I am so so glad I didn’t shrug my shoulders and say, “Meh, I’ll film our trip next year,” because that might not happen for any number of reasons. In all likelihood we’ll make this trip again next February, but it’s not a guarantee. Things like changes in finances, career moves, illness, or broken relationships could all affect the chances of us travelling south again next winter.
We can spend our time wishing that life didn’t throw us curveballs, but the reality is that it does; it could be a monumental loss, or it could be your two year old screaming at her door that she’s not tired while yawning and simultaneously taking her pull-up off, putting underwear on, and purposely peeing in them in the middle of her room (literally the events in our house from 8:30-9:30 last night).
That’s why documenting the great things in your life at this moment is so critical. My hope is that reading this makes you grateful for the gifts in your life right now. All we really have in the end is the relationships in our lives and the experiences that come with them. If that’s not worthy of documenting, then I don’t know what is.
I called this a love letter to my kids, because to me this film represents me trying to just love them NOW. I’m trying not to worry about how I screwed up yesterday or what I might screw up tomorrow. Instead I’m striving to appreciate the time I have with them now and just spend it lovin’ on them and having some damn fun!
Whew. Now that I’ve thrown all those emotions at you, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment or get in touch with me to let me know the little (or big!) things in your life that you feel are worthy of documenting right now. I hope the crazy ketchup mess on my kids’ breakfast plates reminds you that things don’t have to be pretty to be beautiful; I would love to help you see that in your own life.
Until next time,