This is my last post about cameras for a while. I promise. Honest. When it rains, it pours.
So when I was in Nauvoo a few weeks back, I picked up a little cheapo throw-away at the market across from Carthage jail. (because that’s pertinent? nope) I left it in a friend’s bag, and it was just mailed to me today. It didn’t take long for the kids to spy something new! and interesting! on my desk- and they asked what it was.
“A camera.” I said over my shoulder, while picking up shards of a mug Abby dropped on the tile floor.
“Oh. A camera? really? Then where is the picture?”
“It’s inside, you can’t see it.” still picking up pottery slivers…
“How does it work mom? What do you do? Where’s the screen? How can you take pictures without seeing them?”
Washing my hands off, I feel really old. “You have to look through the little hole, and the picture goes onto a roll of film inside the box.”
“But WHERE are the pictures? How do you get them out to see them?!”
Taking the camera, I show him how to advance the film, push the flash button and look through the viewfinder. It’s novel and fun, and he and Bean take the whole rest of the roll.
Bringing the spent camera to me, Jeffrey says, “OK mom, I want to see the pictures we took on the old-fashioned camera!”
Old fashioned. Huh. Have I actually reached that stage? Am I… a… relic? Damn. I look at my earnest freckle-nosed son, “I can’t get the pictures out. We have to take it to the store, and they print them for us. It’s called developing.”
He looks at me cock-eyed, “You mean we have to drive to the store, and we can’t see them first?”
“That’s dumb. I’m glad I don’t live in the olden days.”
Yes, my dear son, be glad. Why, way back when I was a small child, we had to get up to change the TV channel, we had to go to the theatre to see a movie, you cooked popcorn on the stove in a pot, bicycles had banana seats, and you had to beg mom to go to Golf-land to play video games. Our first computer was an Atari, and it had a modem that you set the cradle of the phone on, and a dot-matrix printer- and we were the bomb. We even had a phone that you had to DIAL. It was in the garage, but we had one. Our yard was watered with a rain-bird sprinkler that sucked to run through, we played with all the kids on the street and no one had ever heard of a “play date”. The ice cream man came around every summer night around 7, and everything was a quarter. And you took your camera to the store and had to wait a week to see that you took pictures of your thumb and your eye.
Yeah, it might be dumb. But darling son, my prayer is that someday your memories are quaint and sepia as well. It’s not a bad place to be.