My totally awesome parents (and I'm not just saying that because you read my blog) found some footage of Samuel laughing. They put it on a DVD and it was waiting for me when I got home from work. How fabulous!
He was about 9, and was laughing at Nibbler (a galah we used to keep inside-I had it banished to the outside aviaries when it started attacking me everytime I walked into the room) who was pulling a spoon out of his cup and throwing it away, then sticking almost his whole body into the cup to get the milk from the bottom. He was also laughing at an episode of Family Guy that he was watching.
Even though he was a bit younger then, the laugh was just the same. A really infectious giggle. A bit more high pitched than his last few years (he had a fairly deep voice by the time he died), but the same laugh.
Something I observed while I was watching though, was that I was pretty much focused on Oliver. He was about 2 at the time, and very cute, and I noticed that I kept the camera trained on him, not Samuel.
I think there are a couple if reasons for this.
Firstly, Oliver was very cute and new and was doing lots of gorgeous 2-year-old things worth capturing on film.
Secondly, Samuel was the subject of a few videos when he was the same age, so it was an evening-up kind of thing. I think when Sam was born, we kept film and photo processing company executives in hot lunches...
If I'd known just how important this footage would be to us now (when I was a watching and Sam was just at the edge of the frame, I caught myself moving my head, as if that would help me see him) I would have done it differently.
But we never expect that we're going to lose our kids. We think that there's plenty of time to take videos, that we've already got enough. And they get more camera shy as they get older anyway; they lose the 'cute' factor and there's more posing.
I have got a few videos - the last couple of cameras we've had included a film function. Funnily enough, despite poring over my photos, I haven't really had a good look at the videos. I must do so, there might be some really treasures.
And my advice to you? Get them on film. As often as possible. As mundane as their antics might seem, one day they might mean the world to you.
Thanks Mum and Dad. You truly are the most wonderful parents ever!