Looking to the Past to See Ahead

Although I don’t think it’s healthy to always live in the past, I think that the ability to see it with new eyes, or looking at it with a different perspective can offer clarity.

I was home recently for Thanksgiving and was lucky enough to be joined by all 5 of my siblings. I have a big family and we’ve always been close. Though we don’t live near each other anymore and don’t get to see each other as often as we would like, we still remain close and connected. The distance only forces us to relish the time we do get to spend with one another. And this time was no different. We took breaks from the Thanksgiving festivities by watching childhood home videos, that had been left and all but forgotten in the basement. Even though I’ve seen the tapes countless times as a kid, watching them this time around took on a special significance. Not just because I’m older, and hopefully more mature, but my sister is about to get married, and therefore, I found myself thinking about her leaving us and starting a family of her own.

As a child, I would watch the home videos, only noticing the silly, ridiculous, and occasionally adorable things me and my siblings did. I would laugh at the badly choreographed talent show dances, the awkward moments caught on camera, and the bad haircuts and bold fashion choices,  but this time around, I couldn’t stop noticing the interactions between my mom and dad. My parents had 6 kids, all under the age of 10 and were naturally surrounded by chaos, but they didn’t seem to let that faze them. They were so happy, patient, and I couldn’t help but notice how, amidst the yelling kids, dirty dishes, and piles of laundry, how full of love our house seemed. Sure, the videos didn’t capture many fights and arguments, I’m sure that they had, as is normal for any relationship, but watching them made the whole prospect of having a family seem like an adventure.