My parents bought a brand new camcorder when I was born.
You remember the kind, the clunk of a machine that needed two hands to keep steady and came with a shoulder strap and a padded case. God forbid you left the house without extra cassette tapes!
And the home videos they recorded are a hoot, let me tell you!
They aren’t like the little 3 minute clips that children of the Iphone Generation will watch someday; no, they are sprawling 30 minute recordings filled with the hilarious mundane moments of our childhood.
The crying fit I threw when I was too scared to run around in the sprinklers. The ridiculous playground games my sister and I created while Ma was silently recording us through the kitchen window. We Ritchers love to rewatch home movies. The clips just never get old. There’s nothing better for a laugh than my obnoxious, hammy persona in front of the camera, my sister’s awkward venture through puberty and 8 years of braces, and my brother’s sweet, yet sometimes girly tendencies he inherited by being smothered by two older sisters. I cherish those VHS memories.
It’s nuts to think that if my mom wouldn’t have recorded those moments, there is a good chance they might have slipped away with all the other undocumented days of my youth. Memory is a fickle thing; this is the proof of my past.