Picture Perfect

Years ago I started a tradition of sending out Christmas photo cards. After children arrived it wasn't uncommon for me to drag the family to the woods with the tripod in hand to set up the 'perfect pose'. My poor husband went along with it and was a good sport but I turned into a flaming butt over my quest to make it look 'just right.'

I wanted people to think I was 'adulting' successfully so I would use whatever means necessary in order to achieve that, whether by Christmas newsletter sharing my kid's latest development in reading the classics at age 2,  potty training achievements or my husband's promotion, you can bet I was all over it.

Well life has turned and cards went by the way side for a few years, especially the newsletters because frankly, there wasn't very positive news to share. Oh I could have fashioned a 'tell all' story that might rivet my readers but it wasn't very festive.

This year I tried to revive the lost tradition and with a blended family spread out in many directions it is nigh impossible to have all 6 of our kids in the same room. Thanksgiving weekend was the first time EVER that our children were all together and I wanted to make sure I documented it.

We were all at my mother in law's house for a post Thanksgiving gathering and opportunity presented itself. So, we got what we could and I proceeded to make photo cards.

I knew it wasn't the best photo, especially when mom called to give me her commentary on it.

"Who is Cody looking at?"

"Will is almost completely cut out of the photo."

"Where was this picture taken? It doesn't look like your house."

"Who is that man sitting next to Jessi?"

"Well, it's a great picture."

Yeah, right.

This was my mom's passive aggressive way in telling me it sucked.

And honestly, I knew it did but I worked with the best I had.

I then proceeded to order a cease fire on mailing any more cards. So to our loved ones who already received one, my apologies.

To those that didn't, you're welcome. Apparently I did you a solid.

I stewed about it for awhile and came up with this.

Good for me, dammit.

Good for me that for once in my life I chose to send out something flawed.  Because truth be told we are flawed, seriously. Our clothes clash, people are cut out the photo, people are looking elsewhere, our backdrop is bland but it's us. In all our glory. In all our shortcomings. This is reality.

And while I feel a little bad about not having the award winning Christmas photo, I also know that many of those are just a fa├žade. Because behind those smiles and perfect outfits, there is still hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives. Life is so different behind our closed doors.

How about for once we become a little more transparent and lay our stuff out, even if it clashes and even if we're looking in different directions?

So with that in mind, I have a few more cards to send out.

Merry Christmas!


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