I have become an unabashed devotee of a relatively new iPhone app known as TimeHop. I don’t really get the T-Rex with swim goggles and heart-print boxer shorts brand logo. In fact, I experience mild annoyance with a touch of embarrassment when I daily interact with the app each morning, painfully aware of the TimeHop T-Rex’s resemblance to Barney. I avoided Barney like the plague when my sons fell in his target age demographic. Snobbishly opting for “Mozart for Babies” over the thick-tongued and goofy purple brontosaurus. Well the chicken (pterodactyl?) has come home to roost: My kids despise classical music, and I endure begrudging eye contact with a cartoon dinosaur and his useless swim goggles. In his damned underpants. Every day.
Because I genuinely enjoy perusing the digital images scraped by the app from among the various repositories where my memories lie. At least those memories within the past 10 years. Dutifully date-stamped by the dinosaur, reminding me of this family wedding in New York City during a September 11 weekend, that walk on the beach with my dog whilst chewing through a tricky work situation, or my younger son’s first official soccer practice in which he finally deigned to actually participate, or my elder son’s greenstick-fractured wrist bone from an ill-advised and unsupervised jaunt on the treadmill in our garage.
The images that tickle my belly or leave me staring in awe, I “share” those immediately via text message. I am well aware that my wife is beholden to the almighty billable hour and that she cannot bill “looking at a TimeHop photo my husband sent to me of my son Everett grotesquely twisting one of his front teeth” to any of her clients. So by definition, my “Do You Remember” iMessages are interfering with my wife’s job.
And I have read every word of my older son’s new school’s Parent Handbook. I am fairly certain my TimeHop text messages this morning pinged the iPhone in his pants pocket smack in the middle of Precalculus. This sort of thing likely explains why parents are generally forbidden from communicating with their children in this manner, save for elusively narrow windows of the day that I have yet to figure out. Rationally, this policy makes complete sense to me. It does. But when I get emotionally overwhelmed by a parking lot shot of Max’s first of many travel baseball games after our first of many 5am drives to Stockton, I just can’t help myself. And part of me wants to believe that Max’s Precalculus teacher, upon discovering a pic of my fresh-faced cherub in his new uniform when Max is supposed to be sketching some Euclidean vectors, would smile knowingly and cut Max a break. He might even invite Max to deliver a moving PowerPoint presentation to the entire class regarding my first born’s obviously perfect childhood and father. This is the stuff of which valedictory speeches are made!
Anyhow, today’s trip down memory lane has reached its dead end, as it always does. Marked by the sneering T-Rex, Barney’s cousin, who knows that I will be back again tomorrow. Perhaps by then, at long last, he will have found his pants.
Thanks for reading.