There is, perhaps, a future time where a parent may look across the room to see their child doing something both hilarious and cute, some action great or small that makes evident the sheer joy that absolutely should be part of childhood, an act whose very childlike perfection will cause that parent to recall the child within themselves and feel for a moment both the the wonder of youth and the gratification of parenthood, all tangled up in a big goofy-grinned laugh-out-loud mess.
And that parent will just smile and say "start filming" and the scene before their eyes will instantly begin recording to a video file, with their visual sensory input acting as the camera, and will record until they say "stop filming." Because they're in the future, and in the future they're going to have cool shit like that.
Oh how I wished we were living in that future the other night. I was washing dishes after dinner. Henry was in a blessedly good mood, happily pushing his little chair all over the place. A chair, why he was pushing it, I don't know, but it was making him happy. The mp3 player was shuffling through the chill-out mix that I put together a while back, and it landed upon Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter." Perhaps your definition of chill-out music differs from mine, but this song always makes me feel plenty chill. As I was scrubbing the crap off of our dishes and gently bobbing my head along to one of the most recognizable bits of guitar ever recorded, I looked up to see what Henry was doing. He was looking at me with that enormous vote-for-me smile on his face, and bobbing his head right along with the music, just like me. And it called out to me, it begged me, that image of my son bobbing his head along to Led Zeppelin just cried out "Record me! Save me for posterity! Put me on your blog!"
But damn it all, I knew that by the time I got to the camera, the moment would be over. The very appearance of the camera would in fact create far too much distraction for my son to possibly continue whatever he was doing, and any attempts on my part to recreate the magic would at best result in a second grade imitation barely worthy of your consumption, and at worst a great deal of frustration on my part.
But were we living in the future, oh boy. You'd be watching a video of something that I thought was really funny at the time. You bet your ass.
But I don't know. Maybe the future isn't such hot shit. Maybe it's best that we're not able to capture every little moment in a permanent format. Maybe some things just have to live in our memories, imperfect as they are. Maybe that magical moment was just for me, and others are just for you, or just for the little group that was lucky enough to witness them, and after that they're gone. Even in the retelling they come across as not so big a deal. The magic was in the moment.
Dunno. Going to bed.