Our dear friend Josephine from Hongkong just left Singapore after visiting us for four days. It was a dizzying four days of catching up, and taking her on food trips so that she could eat every local dish she had on her list (it was a long long list). She missed the food here so much.
My wife met Josephine when she was working in Singapore and they became fast friends. When she had to return to Hongkong, it was really painful for the missus to lose a good friend. We had five years of not seeing her to make up for, so this visit of hers was a real event for us.
She was our bridesmaid back when we got married, but since her return to Hongkong, she has never seen the kids, except in photos. She was thrilled to finally see them in person. Auntie Josephine came bearing many many gifts of clothes and toys.
Also, prior to this visit, she had only read about Faith’s condition in our emails to her. It was something else to see it in person. It made her cry.
Last night, as we sat in the living room to do some final chatting, I remembered a DVD I made with Apple's iLife software, entitled "Our Kids". (You can tell this is going to be a Summer blockbuster just from the title alone, can't you?)
It was a series of iPhoto slideshow movies I put together with all the photos I had ever taken of Faith and Isaac, from birth to present. With a little help from iTunes to provide the movie soundtrack, and iDVD to create the DVD and the chapters.
It was like watching the history of two little lives unfold on TV. Josephine would pause to ooh and aah, while we the proud parents provided the running commentary. Sort of like what you hear on a Special Edition DVD of a movie.
Each image blended into the next:
That's Faith when she was 6 months... there's the first trip we took as a family... Chinese New Year 2002... Faith learning to walk... and that's Isaac on day one... ah, Faith's first day at school...
While regular photo albums are a fine way to keep pieces of your past, there was something about seeing almost four years of bringing up kids compressed into less than one hour of DVD. Like an out-of-body experience, two parents and a friend, in the dead of night, watching the life story of someone else's kids. It was very moving.
We gave Josephine the disc as a gift (I had the iDVD master document to burn another one anyway), to let her take a piece of our memories with her.
The DVD slideshow movie was my first attempt at using the iLife suite, and while the transitions and music fade-ins and fade-outs needed work, I reckon that if I ever made any future home or commercial movies, I will still consider this my finest work.