Every three months, I sort through all our digital photos and prepare them for publishing on our family website. The job is enormous and takes me several days. First, of 200 or so pictures and digital videos, I decide which ones are worth keeping, and which can be deleted. Then each is given an index number and a meaningful name. A program Sir Monkeypants wrote for me automatically resizes the photos for the website, but each video must be opened manually in Microsoft Video Maker and saved using a lower resolution, otherwise my poor mother with her dial-up connection would have to wait through three days of downloading just to see a 30-second video of Gal Smiley scraping the icing off her birthday cake. Then, I manually code HTML pages that group the photos/videos into meaningful sets, providing a caption for each. Whew!
I just finished the set from July, August, and September. Every time I finish a new set, and I spend countless hours looking at the finished product. We’ll especially watch the little videos over and over — we can use our XBox to watch them on our big TV, even.
Just now, as I was rewatching videos of our kids for like, the 100th time, I figured I better come and make a post. A post of advice for my future self. My advice is this:
When your kids bring home boyfriends or girlfriends, or get married, or heaven forbid, have a child themselves, you will be well tempted to pull out the zillions of photos and videos you have worked so hard on. But remember: Only you can stomach to watch endless videos of your own children for hours at a time. Eventually the poor boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife’s mind will wander. Their eyes will glaze over. And when you say, “Oooh, you just HAVE to see this one of The Captain running in circles around a mop and broom!!” and they say, “Um, I just have to run to the bathroom for a moment and POKE MY EYES OUT,” that will be your cue to TURN THE VIDEOS OFF. Just put the remote down and back away slowly. It will be for the good of all involved.