Last night I was able to sneak off by myself for a few hours and see pop-punk band Eve 6 at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun. As usual my trip there made me wish that I had more willpower when it came to walking by the slot machines on my way out, but this trip also left me feeling both nostalgic and grateful.
Nostalgic because I was reminded of all the great songs that this band recorded in the late 1990’s and first few years of the 2000’s. In those early days of Napster and file sharing, “Here’s to the Night” was the first song that I ever downloaded, taking approximately twenty minutes to finish. In those days Friday and Saturday night plans were made based on which cover bands were playing the circuit of bars that I frequented. The song “Inside Out” was a staple of many of these bands’ set lists.
Grateful because there isn’t a whole lot from those years for me to be proud of. I remember seeing the band at a music festival around that time, but who I was with, who else played, and much of the rest of the day escapes me. I’m fairly certain that was the mosh pit where I got cut over both of my eyes after having my sunglasses punched into my face for defending a girl being groped while crowd surfing, but I’m not positive. Seeing them play live again was a nice time, but being home with my wife by 11:00 and waking up to take my daughter to school made me much happier than anything that may have occurred on that night almost twenty years ago.
While waiting for the show to start I spent some time chatting with a younger couple sitting on one side of me and an older one on the other. The younger couple were trying to decide what pictures to delete from their phones to free up some storage for a few of the band. The thousands of pictures were all of their children of course, leading to some small talk about parenting ( because that’s what parents do ) and comments from the older couple about how many more photos they had of their two small grandchildren than they did of the entire lives of their two adult children.
It brought to mind a conversation I had earlier that night at work about how cell phone cameras have completely changed the way that we document our lives and also a half written post from about a month ago about how I’m not sure that pictures are always enough. They are reminders of a slice of time, but not true stories of the moment. I have no pictures of that Eve 6 concert all those years ago, but even if I did, what would that tell me other than that I was there?
Earlier in the week my wife was telling a group of people about the spectacle of herself our youngest had made the prior evening at Daisy Scouts. One of those in attendance mentioned to her that “she really should write this stuff down.” I found it an ironic suggestion coming from an e-mail subscriber to this very blog, but the fact is that I did write down my wife’s story, adding that moment to all the others being collected in a pile of note books I’ve been scribbling into for the past two years. I wrote it down not as potential material for future use, but because more and more these notebooks are becoming more about documenting moments than they are first drafts of blog posts.
I’ve mentioned before that this is never going to be a place where I share parenting advice other than the occasional “what not to do”, but I’m breaking my own rule today. You don’t need your own blog, a fancy scrap booking set-up, or a secret diary under your pillow, but I’d encourage you to write things down. Spend two dollars on a simple notebook and take a few minutes every week documenting what happened and how you felt about it. Even if you don’t have kids, write things down. Write down things that you don’t want to forget because the odds are that you will.
I’m old enough to still be amazed by the idea that I have not only a camera with me at all times now, but a video camera. I take a ton of pictures and the kids enjoy looking through them with me from time to time. I have a feeling that one day they are going to enjoy flipping through my notebooks even more.