Aaaaah, family pictures. Each year, the very thought makes me shudder. And smile. I shudder because the thought of finding coordinating clothing alone is daunting. Add to that finding a photographer, location, and . . .well, lets face it. . .simply arriving anywhere with all of us clean, looking snappy, and happy all at the same time is enough to make me quiver.
So, what about a family picture makes me smile? It's the after. The post-family picture moments, when we look back at that seemingly perfect, smiling family in the photograph and laugh at loud because we knew what it took to get there. Like the year (2007) when I was ushering everyone out the door to meet the photographer, just in time to find Emmy hiding in the bathroom with a container of hair gel. Plastered all over her sweet little head. The head I had worked so hard to wash, dry, and coif in timed perfection so it would still look nice by the time we had to go.
When it comes to family pictures, I always say you never know how many swear words lay beneath all of those smiles.
This year was no exception. The clothes, of course always give me a headache. It's not like I live in a booming metropolis that I can flit about in search of that missing puzzle piece. And even if I did, it's not as if I enjoy shopping enough to want to. And having Dad home long enough to snap the camera? Another toughie.
A day or two before our scheduled session, Courtney remarked, "It just seems like we go through this every year. I don't think you are learning your lesson." To which I then (calmly) responded, "What lesson would that be?" and explained the reason behind the yearly stress.
What happens one day if something unexpected happens to one of us or the girls? Hopefully, nothing will. But undoubtedly, twenty years from now, we won't remember this particular season of our lives without a picture to capture it forever in our memory. We might not remember the freckled noses, the toothless grins, and the chubby fingers. And to be truthful, there is just a certain reassurance that comes knowing that at least one time this year, we all arrived at a location wearing clean clothes and looking somewhat respectable, all at the same time.
Thank goodness we at least have a great friend who happens also to be an amazing photographer. That, right there, makes it much easier. And I love the name of Nicole's company, "Pixie Dust Photography". In my opinion, a good picture truly is like capturing pixie dust. It is magic.
And so, another year of shudders and smiles is behind us. And no, I haven't learned my lesson. I'm sure I'll set myself up for the headache again next year. It reminds me of something my Dad used to tell us. "It's hard to be beautiful". Boy, is that ever the truth.
Even if it's only once a year.