Have you ever seen old films of yourself as a toddler or even as a newborn? Well, for Christmas I received a dvd created by my dad that was made up of 30-year-old footage from his old Super 8 camera. I guess the technology to transfer film to dvd has become more common since my days in film class in college. The good thing is that the films have not lost their beautiful, gritty graininess, a trait of old home movies that video could only hope to replicate.
The first part of the movie is of Christmas time 1977, when my mom was very young and very pregnant with me. My late Grandma Betty (known as Grandmama to her grandkids) was decorating a Christmas tree with my mom and dad. My dad was making goofy faces, something he has always done. They didn't have a tripod so the camera got passed between Mom and Dad so everyone got a chance to be on film. There is also footage of my parents shoveling snow into their little blue pick-up on the side of a road, some place where it had snowed a lot. And then it goes to my dad's parents' house, where the Christmas tree, complete with running train and wind-up monkey crashing cymbals, was decorated to the hilt and the room overflowed with presents wrapped in oldtime-y paper, lustrous ribbons and festive bells.
Watching my newborn self flail my lanky arms about was surreal. I wondered what I was thinking. Being that I was the first born of my dad's three kids, little me is in the rest of the movie, growing up, getting a little sister and then a little brother. The movie stops when I am about 3 years old.
Thanks, Dad, for the most thoughtful gift I've ever received! I am treasuring it.