Behind the Family Photo

Behind every family photo I can still feel the Herculean effort and coordination it took to get it. We are never just strolling through an orchard in flannel at sunset with a selfie stick. It starts with locating all family members, which can be difficult especially if you are in an open space. This feels a lot like herding cats who are very angry because you forced them to wear sweaters. The only time two independent toddlers want to be held is when your arms are already full of groceries or another child, so you are forced to artfully create a scene that makes the “arched back pose” seem natural (parents will also recognize it as the “it’s time to sit in your car seat pose”).

Never say cheese! That quickly reminds your children of the food bribe you have offered them to smile which is most definitely not a complete protein, but rather ice cream or something equally goopy and sticky that you have withheld from them for the sake of the outfits. The only break you seem to catch is that fall colors actually blend well with spills, snot, and dirt. You have long since ditched your dogs for the photo because wrangling that many wild animals is only something you'd enjoy watching on the Discovery Channel from the comfort of your couch. 

It is never the picture where you look gorgeous because in that one no one else does and this is simply sacrifice number one million two hundred fifty-six you’ve made since you became a mother, but who’s counting? They say a picture is worth a thousand words and even then, it's not the whole picture. 

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