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“How was the concert?” my friend, Thien-Kim of I’m Not the Nanny messaged me when I returned home from last night’s end of the year instrumental music and band concert.
“It was your typical elementary school band and orchestra concert!” I replied. “The kids were great but there were way too many parents taking shaky cell phone videos and holding up their iPads blocking views of others as usual.”
“LOL” she replied. “I don’t even video my daughter’s performances. I got some photos though.”
“Me too,” I admitted.
Just an hour before I was sitting in the audience at our local high school while my 4th grader, Thomas, played his trombone with his classmates and the school’s 5th graders. The spring instrumental music and band concert is always a milestone in our kids’ lives but as I sat and enjoyed listening to the music, flashes from cell phones were going off around me while iPads in the rows in front of me were blocking the view of those behind us and parents were zoomed in, capturing a fuzzy and motion sickness inducing image of their kids’ performance through their phone.
Part of me felt guilty for not wanting to record the concert for all posterity but when I look at the moments preserved through my still digital images, I am happy for not having experienced the concert through my lens in favor of being present.
While some families have hours and hours of video footage, I’ve chronicled my kids as they’ve grown through still images. Rather than snapping away, I wait for moments to appear before depressing the shutter button on my camera so I am not living behind the lens. The library of digital images that I have from birth to now is precious because of the many single fleeting moments I’ve captured as they’ve gotten older. And many of these images are never shared.
Despite living much of my life online and sharing so much of myself through my blog and social media presence, there is a side of me that is intensely private. I’ve been protective of the images of my kids that I’ve taken through the years, preferring to let them live on my home computer than sharing them publicly. In the 8 ½ years I’ve been blogging, it’s fairly recent that my kids have had more of a presence on my blog and on my social channels but there is still a big part of our lives that you won’t find on here or on social media because despite being tech savvy, I also like to unplug.
I left my former career as a teacher and found a new way to use my knowledge and expertise from years of experience so I could be more present to make moments with my kids count. But I can also understand the value in capturing images and videos and sharing them with others. With grandparents in California, aunts and uncles that live across the country and in Europe, and friends of the family on Facebook who love keeping up with our family through more than just the annual holiday photo card, I often wonder if maybe I should share more to provide more of a peek into our everyday lives like the Bates family does in Bringing Up Bates.
While there isn’t a camera crew following us around to document of family life like the Bates’, there is something to be said about the family’s strong values and love for each other that comes through in each episode. Despite the highs and lows, I like the show’s genuine, positive, and uplifting tone that is what I try to convey when I do share photos of our family through my social channels. Just like the Bates’ touch people’s hearts through the way they interact with their loved ones, I hope that what I share shows our kids growing up into confident individuals who become ready to take on the world with each passing day.
After watching some of the exclusive Bringing Up Bates videos, I love how this family docu-series follows the lives of Gil and Kelly Jo Bates, the proud parents of 19 children and a growing number of grandchildren, and preserves precious family memories. Even with the cameras filming the family, it’s easy to see how they focus on making each moment with each other count. While some docu-series have me doubt the authenticity of those featured, it’s UP Network’s goal to showcase real families and I get the sense that when the 19 members of the Bates family are the same off camera as they are when they’re rolling and that’s refreshing.
Bringing Up Bates returns for the 4th season on UP network on Friday, June 2. This new season sees the Bates family undergoing many changes. A lot of the kids are beginning to forge their own paths outside of the family and from new loves, to new careers and new babies, the Bates are experiencing both the highs and lows of life. Tune in to meet the whole family! If you are unsure what channel UP is for your area, click here.
Regardless of how you capture and share your family memories, shows like Bringing Up Bates showcase strong family values by encouraging viewers to spend time with and appreciate loved ones while making moments count and celebrating them with those you love.
Join me for a Bringing Up Bates Premiere Twitter Party!
We are kicking off the 4th season of Bringing Up Bates. with a Twitter Party! Join us TONIGHT (6/2) at 9 pm ET for the premiere of Bringing up Bates Season 4 on UP TV using the hashtag #BringingUpBates and following @BringingUpBates.
- $150 Shutterfly Gift Card
- Apple iPad mini 2
- iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum,
- Nikon Coolpix Camera/Video Camera
- VIZIO 60″ 4K Ultra HD LED Smart HDTV
- Grand prize will be a Kenmore Elite Front-loader and Kenmore Elite Electric Dryer
While Bringing Up Bates compensated me for my time in writing this post, all opinions are my own.