How BabyBabyOhBaby was born -
Ah, the backstory. How did a man with no children end up producing parenting videos? I'm as surprised as you are. The answer is that I had an amazing mother. This series was inspired by and produced in memory of my mother, Beatrice.
As a filmmaker, I've worked on Miss Universe Pageants, shot in the canopy of the Giant Sequoias and done interviews at the White House. But this series is a personal project and has been the most satisfying. I think it is also the most important.
I grew up in a family where love was conveyed by touch. Mom put my brother, sister and me to sleep by stroking our backs ... what we called "being tickled." From her touch we learned love and so much more. The thread that binds our family started with that touch.
At the beginning of 2004, Mom had a stroke. During the months before her death, we had a masseuse come to the house a couple of times a week. We all "tickled" Mom as well. It was a way to tell her how much we loved her. It was such a visceral reminder of the power of touch.
During those months, I happen to rekindle a friendship with someone I hadn't seen since my freshman year in college, some thirty years ago. Turns out that Mindy, among other things, taught infant massage. We talked about touch and Mom. I started doing some research and sat in on a infant massage class for fathers and their babies. There was one father in particular who just did 'still touch' ... putting his fingers on the chest of his daughter only weeks old. The sparks flew between those two. A bit of magic was happening. I was hooked.
After Mom's death, I decided to produce "BabyBabyOhBaby: Infant Massage" as a way of passing on some of that magic.
Of course, the DVD teaches the mechanics ... the strokes of infant massage, but most importantly it is about the bonding between parent and child. I'm proudest of that connection which we captured as we filmed six real families learning to massage their babies. I love the emotion and trust on the screen.
It seems almost a forgone conclusion that I would keep going and our breastfeeding DVD is the second in the series. And the third? Well, let it be a surprise for now.
I think Mom is looking down from above and laughing at me. I'm the one who never wanted children and here I am surrounded by babies. Life can be interesting.