Since my web site is called Memoirs of a Middle Aged Mom, I suppose it is appropriate for my first post to be about my kids. This picture and the header photo are my 6 darling, perfect little angels *cough, cough*. I love these pictures for a couple of reasons. 1. They are simply, really cute pictures. And 2. These pictures were their idea.
Now, like most mothers, I have been documenting each Christmas with a Christmas photo of the kids. Over the years I have gone to great lengths to have a cute and creative photo of my kids to put into Christmas cards every year. Adorable pictures of them with reindeer antlers and noses, in the bathtub with Santa hats and bubble beards or simple pictures of them in front of the fireplace wearing matching flannel shirts. As most mothers know, it is often a difficult task to get one child to cooperate for a photo, let alone 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. As the kids grew older, they became less cooperative on Christmas card picture day, and not because they hadn’t had their nap or because they were simply grumpy toddlers. No, they became resistant because admittedly, it just wasn’t that fun. It was often difficult for me to remain patient and cheery while trying to get them all dressed, smiling and looking picture perfect. Let’s face it, by the time it was over, we were all exhausted and frustrated.
A few years ago, the complaining and resistance were at an all time high. My feelings were hurt that taking a simple family photo seemed too big a burden to them. I was hurt that they didn’t care or understand how important these pictures were to me. After 20 some years of family Christmas photos, I gave in. I gave up. For the next few years, there was no Christmas card photo *gasp*.
Until this year, when they were all home at Thanksgiving. I had regained my conviction for the family photo, took charge and told them that there WOULD be a group picture this year. They groaned a little for old time sake as I told them to stand in front of the fireplace. I just wanted to keep it simple as to avoid as much resistance as possible. And then it happened. A Christmas miracle. “That’s too boring. Let’s do something fun like get in the bathtub (dressed, of course) or all of us in your bed.” What? Was I hearing this correctly? I didn’t care. Without hesitation I enthusiastically agreed before they could change their minds. They all hopped in my bed and I took as many pictures as I could in about 5 minutes, and called it done. No color coordination, no matching clothes, no coiffed hair or fun props. Just them, as they are, on any regular day.
I know it will be several years before they really understand how special and meaningful these pictures are. But I bet, one day, they will wonder about the missing years and most likely blame me for the absence of them. But that’s okay. They will be happy that we all went though the trouble to document the growth of our family as well as their individual physical growth. They will laugh about the torment and stories behind each photo and they will be grateful that their mom was such a pain in the ass every year on Christmas card photo day.
Just for fun, here are a couple pictures that demonstrate why my kids hate photo day 🙂