Ian Philpot


When I first got a camera phone, I ruined several experiences for myself. I was so caught up with documenting concerts or family gatherings or things I saw on a walk that I didn’t get to enjoy them.

What’s worse? I never looked at any of those pictures after I took them.

So when Claire arrived, I told myself that I would document what I could when I wasn’t disrupting the moment and leave the rest to my memory. But I wasn’t convinced that I would stick with it.

This past weekend, that was put to the test.

A Prairie Home Companion

For Father’s Day, Claire—but mostly Erin—got us tickets to see the live taping of A Prairie Home Companion at Ravinia.

Now I’ve been a fan of the show for the better half of a decade, and I’ve come to have a huge respect for Garrison Keillor, the show’s host. The way he tells stories and weaves music in and out of everything warms my heart in a way that is only matched by nice, long hugs and watching White Christmas in the middle of December.

Just before the show starts, Garrison and female vocalist Lynn Peterson walk around the park to start singing, and…well, here’s the Facebook post I made about the moment:


It was a great moment. A sweet moment. They sang “You Are My Sunshine,” “Down by the River,” and one other song.

And the whole time they were singing, I was thinking, Hold her with one arm and pull your phone out with the other.

But I didn’t.

I had this moment of clarity that holding my phone out to catch the moment would have interrupted it. All of the sincerity and heartwarming I was feeling in those seconds would’ve been sucked away, and there was no telling if it would return once it was gone.

And I’m so happy that I didn’t get my phone out. It was fun holding Claire during the serenade.

And if you were wondering about Erin, she was watching our stuff near the back of the park while all of this happened. She had no idea she was missing it.

A Changed Man

This whole experience has me hopeful that I won’t feel the urge to get my phone out to document every moment that I think might be important.

This may not sound like a revolutionary idea, but, being that I work in social media, it’s counterintuitive for me. I’m used to tracking important moments and sending them out across several platforms in as many types of media as possible.

My friend Andy put it best in his comment to my Facebook post: “I’m still convinced some of the best moments in life shouldn’t make it on social media. We’re not journalists, we’re parents.” So true.

I may not take pictures of Claire’s first steps or a video of her first words, but I’ll be loving every minute of it.


Okay, I’m sneaking this in. When Garrison was singing to Claire, there was an entire crowd of people around us, and most of them were taking pictures. I was secretly hoping that one of them would’ve posted their picture of Twitter or Instagram, but I haven’t seen anything yet. If you know someone who was at the show and may have taken a photo of us, maybe check with them to see if they got it…? Because that would be awesome and I would be very grateful.