“It never gets old.”
We’ve all heard or said that phrase at some point. Often, it’s used as a throwaway line, stated after a friend, family member or co-worker says something funny or refers to a famous movie quote, providing a logical segue into the next part of the conversation.
Sunday, that sentence popped into my head, and at one point I said it to Joan. But this time, it held a different and deeper meaning. In the moment, it was meant to be that throwaway line I mentioned above, a palate cleanser between “courses” of a conversation, moving us onto whatever came next in our morning. But throughout the day, my mind made it more than that.
It came up as Joan was looking for a specific piece of family video from Easter 1998, when Kate was two years old. Over the years, this particular clip has become a Haznaw classic because it has all the elements of a great family movie: Kate, little and cute in her lavender sweater and pants outfit, playing with her mom and dad – young and still relatively new parents -- on a beautiful spring day. She kicks a soccer ball around a playground, while Dad puts the finishing touches on a kite she received as part of her Easter basket. Mom captures it all on camera.
A few moments in, I have the kite in the air as Kate and Joan both look on. After the kite achieves sufficient altitude, I turn the controls over to Kate, who holds onto the spool of string with both hands. Joan’s camera work is flawless, capturing a closeup of Kate’s face, which displays the steely focus necessary to succeed at such an endeavor.
Then, just as quickly as she accepted the responsibility for piloting the craft, she loses interest, and not realizing the outcome of her next action, promptly sets the spool down on the ground and goes back to playing with the soccer ball.
Immediately, the spool disappears from the frame, the kite pulling it away at a high rate of speed now that there is nothing to hold it back. Again, with precision timing and impeccable camera work, Joan zooms out, capturing the action, which now includes me running at a full sprint to retrieve the spool (and with it, the kite) as Kate kicks the soccer ball, completely oblivious to what’s going on at the moment.
In the end, I caught the kite, and the video ends with Joan and Kate flying it for a few moments as though nothing ever happened. Now, I’m behind the camera, capturing the action of a young, beautiful mom and her beautiful daughter having a special, simple, beautiful moment together, a perfect closing scene to a memorable family outing.
Every year on Easter, we watch that clip, and every year, it seems to get funnier and more special to us. In other words, “It never gets old,” which is exactly what I said after we watched it on Sunday, just before we went on with the rest of our day.
A couple years after that special and funny Easter Sunday, Will was born, and just like Kate, he stars in a number of “It never gets old” moments that we revisit now and again. What struck me on Sunday, and it kept creeping into my head all day, was the significance of that phrase: “It never gets old.” Because despite the fact that we are all older now, including the grainy, shaky standard-definition footage we shot that Easter Sunday 1998, by experiencing those moments again, that scene, those kids, their parents and those memories will never get old.
It’s bittersweet, for sure, because it’s easy to get emotional (and believe me, we do) when we look back on those days, laughing and crying, often at the same time, when we see Kate and Will bundled up in their snowsuits in the backyard, running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day, standing at second base on the Little League diamond or standing on the edge of the one-meter board at their first dive meet. But now, it’s also fun to experience these memories with them – as adults – to see their reaction and to watch them as their memory plays out in real-time right in front of our eyes.
I’m so grateful for all the moments we’ve captured over the years because it gives us the opportunity to “never get old,” but also because it’s fun to see how much our kids appreciate those moments, in their own way, in their own minds.
Sunday, both kids were off doing other things when we revisited that classic 1998 kite video, so Joan and I watched it on our own. We laughed and cried, bittersweet but grateful, that some things will never get old.
© 2020 David R. Haznaw