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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Picture

Well, as usual we left the Christmas picture until the last minute! Teale had her 13th Birthday last Friday. We were stressed for that and needed every moment to prepare. Then Saturday our family schedules didn't mesh well. All three kids were home a short time, but Teale had a cold and was crabby, so we postponed again. Sunday though, it turned out was worse, less time together, Teale's nose looked like Rudolf's and Gwenn was exhausted from a sleepover the night before. Monday was more of the same, Tuesday would have to work, as I needed to get the pictures printed! We went with simple clothes and colors on the kids, to me this picture is about their faces. I hope to capture joy, the spirit of the season and a taste of our family to share. I did capture a taste of my kids, but it was awful. Beau looks crabby, probably because he was. Teale is half smiling, but her sparkle is missing. Gwenn is either trying too hard or not enough, I am unclear about that one. Mark and I had trouble with timing Teale's smile with the camera firing. I had trouble getting the camera to a setting I liked. Neither of us were thrilled with the attitudes we were getting from our typical kids. Teale is usually the challenge in the Christmas picture, but we have learned how to work around her. The instructions for our typical kids are simple. For years now we have done the picture at home, Beau & Gwenn keep a smile, Mark gets Teale to smile and I click endlessly. It has worked well in the past, but this year, so far, we failed. Some say print the one we have, I will, but only for my memories. For the rest of you, I plan on trying again, no I mean, I plan on getting a nice picture taken! After all, the behind the scenes of our Christmas picture is part of the process and the memories of the tradition. There is the year Teale was born, but had not been expected, so only a picture of Beau was sent. There are pictures of Teale blown up on steroids that illicit painful memories. There was the last time we got an amazing professional picture of Teale and Beau. Right after it was taken, Teale slapped Beau across the face and he cried. The addition of Gwenn was tricky, but even from the beginning, she shined! In one of my favorites, Mark & I suggested to Beau and Gwenn to tickle Teale, as she falls over laughing, I capture the moment. There are years it has gone quickly and smoothly, Mark and I are a good team. But then again, there are years it has been down right painful. Either way, it never shows in the finished product, what we have sent has always been something both Mark and I are happy with and proud of. I frame the picture for our keepsake every year and it gets tucked away with all the previous years when Christmas is done and all our decorations are packed away. Bringing out the growing collection of framed pictures each year reminds me how far we have come. They are part of our family's tradition and to me, it is probably the most precious tradition. Looking over all the beautiful pictures from previous years, memories flood my mind, not only of that photo session, but of my life with Mark. I imagine next year, I will look back on this year with the story of the picture that almost wasn't.

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