Romanticization. I think they make a cream for that.
So gearing up for the impending holidays, we set out this weekend to take our Christmas picture.
It takes 11 months of pep talks to get me ready for these.
Once mom and I walked confidently into the JCPenney photo section with a 5 and 1 year old boy in tow.
I was ready.
Which translates into…
I had NO IDEA WHAT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.
When we left, I felt like I needed to tip the photographer the amount of the gross national debt and bring her a 1/5 of whisky.
Praise God we now have a photographer who loves us, because bless God taking our family’s picture is literally like bathing a cat.
Or trying to herd millions of cats.
Or doing anything to a cat.
They are hard.
The actual session never work out like I envision. See, I have an unfortunate condition called “romanticization” that I totally made up. I take an event, any old event, and blow it up 10 times infinity so when the actual event actually happens I’m usually let down and disappointed.
Let me give you an example.
I envision the children waking up an hour after they usually do because they “want to let mom and dad sleep in.”
After everyone is awake we sit around the Christmas tree as Jason reads the birth of Jesus while we drink egg nog or cider.
After we sing some Christmas songs, the children thoughtfully and carefully open their presents, thanking the gift giver after each gift is opened.
Jesus is the reason.
Then we pose for a picture in front of the tree in our matching pajamas and then take a nap.
This picture will be my Facebook profile picture.
What really happens…
The children wake up at 5:00 am and come jump in the bed violently waking us up so they can open presents.
Jason and I shuffle into the living room, he’s mumbling something about being “stove up” and not getting any sleep and tells the kids to have a seat because he’s going to read the Christmas story.
After a few mumbles of “we want to open presents” they get “the look” from me and they sit down.
Jason gets a few verses into the Christmas account when Ellie pops up saying she needs a drink while Reagan jumps up to chase after her. I then give Jason the “don’t give up” look and he keeps reading.
The children rip through the presents and say thank you after we prompt them.
There’s a picture but no one wants to pose for it, there’s lots of wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth. I’m sweating, Jason needs a drink and no one will agree to take a nap. He retreats to the kitchen mumbling something incoherent. Of the 42 pictures we take, we find one where there is a 75% “looking at the camera” rate and we consider it a win.
SO, when you see my Facebook picture, please don’t think, “Awe! That’s so precious! They are so perfect!”
A lot of sweat and tears went into it. I figure that one day when Jason and I are sitting in a nursing home looking back on pictures of days gone by, we won’t remember the hardness of
Christmas pictures everything.
We’ll see their sweet little faces and think of how fun they were.
I heard a pastor say once, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s final cut.” This simply means that sometimes what people post on social media or portray to others is what is cherry picked to show them in the absolute best light. You don’t see all the things that were cut out and ended up on the floor of the editing room. But you see your own process. Sadly we compare all that we know and see about ourselves to someone else’s perfect final product and we end up depressed and discouraged with our heart broken and our face in ice cream.
So, let’s just agree on this.
Let’s agree to know the truth about our social media selves.
Instead of looking at your pictures that you posted of Cotillion this weekend and being upset because your daughter didn’t look like the other girls or hair and makeup wasn’t done by someone fancy…let’s just be excited for each other that we survived 6 weeks of sending your hormonal 12 year old to a manners and ballroom dancing lessons.
That we deserve a pat on the back because we lived to tell about the daggers that were thrown at us by our children and the million eye rolls they gave us!
WE DID IT!
And they looked great…and deep down, they really, really loved it.
And don’t forget to take the pictures.
All the pictures.