Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The truth behind our family photos

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Sometimes we just have to make the time for the things that we have wanted to do for a long time. 

Sometimes we have to just put forth the effort, put aside our exhaustion, and book the date to make it happen. 

And make sure that we don't cancel. 

Because sometimes a bit of effort (ok, a lot of effort) is worth it.

Because pretty much doing anything with 3 small kids takes a lot of effort. 

But we did it. 

We booked the date. 

We put aside our exhaustion and that mound of laundry staring at us and we packed up the kids, packed our beloved quilt that my mother-in-law made for us, packed up tons of mini packages of Smarties and met a photographer on a cool fall day not too long ago. 

Because the opportunity to finally get our family photos done was something that I just couldn't pass up. 

So with candy within arms reach for bribery encouragement, and the strict instructions to the photographer to just get whatever shots you can--we don't have high expectations...we set out to get a snapshot of our family at this very point in time. When they were all still so little. And when we were all still so tired. 

Because, in a heart beat, these years are going to fly. 

and we didn't want to miss the chance to freeze time for a moment.

But, you see, freezing this moment in time comes with the reality that these moments that we live right now aren't all just full of flowy dresses blowing in the breeze and children sitting quietly and nicely for long periods of time.

So we snuck Smarties into their hands when they got cranky. We changed locations for a change of scenery. We brought books to read. And we crossed our fingers for at least one decent shot of everyone.

But as the sun started to go down, dinnertime was approaching, kids were getting hungry, the cool wind was picking up and the kids had had enough, we knew that time wasn't on our side. 

Because even though that sun is so darn pretty falling down behind us, kids can only take so much. And an end of the day, witching hour photo shoot, is not exactly something that I would recommend to a family with little children. Because just as the sun started to go down, everyone else went down along with it.

So we wrapped the kids up in their cozy sweaters, fed them handfuls of Smarties and watched as everyone fell apart.

Because that's just real life sometimes.

So this last picture of Terry and I just makes me laugh. Because if I wasn't telling you the truth behind the pictures, you'd probably think that we were so relaxed just nuzzled up to each other thinking loving, warm thoughts.

But the reality at this very moment is that I laid Sophia down in her stroller and she lost it. Then Mya ate the very last Smartie and Carter lost it. So two out of three of them were crying, just feet from us as we quickly nuzzled in, smiled and pretended that all hell wasn't breaking lose around us. Because in this beautiful moment in time, that's exactly what was happening.

I wish now that the photographer had spun around at this very moment, just after taking this shot of us, and gotten a picture of the reality behind her. Because sometimes family photographs just don't tell enough of the story. And to be honest, one day we'll look back on these pictures and wonder how we got all three of them to sit so nicely and spin and twirl for the camera with ease...because one day we'll forget. We'll forget the meltdowns that happened that day, the melting candies in their hands and the effort that it actually took to get us all there.

Because one day our family photo shoot won't require handfuls of candy to survive it. It won't need sippy cups tucked into the stroller, baby blankets, breaks for nursing hungry babies or for calming energetic children. One day our quilt will feel too small and that witching hour won't exist, because one day they'll all grow up. So I'll accept the noise and chaos, and tears and candy that come along with this stage in our life--and I'll look back to this blog post so that I don't forget. Because one day that day when the sun went down on us and provided the most beautiful backdrop for our family photos will be all but a distant memory. And I just don't want to forget.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Erica xox

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