Hello again, friends. I didn't exactly mean to take a week off from blogging, but I was blindsided by the month of May, which is busier than even December. Baseball games, track meets, music performances, field trips, tests, projects...whew. Of course, my sons are the ones doing all that stuff--I get to watch--so what am I complaining about, anyway?
On Saturday, we did something as a family that we haven't done in over ten years: have a professional portrait taken. Considering that everyone in my home has access to at least three cameras at any given moment, this ritual seems outdated and unnecessary to me. But this was my mother's request, and it's hard to say no to a mom when she wants to have a family portrait taken the day before Mother's Day. (Coincidence? Yes, I think so, but it certainly worked in her favor.)
The photographer was a nice guy, and enthusiastic (a little too much, perhaps) about his job. He spent twenty minutes arranging the five of us in various poses and combinations. My husband, who is a foot taller than the the rest of us, was immediately singled out and asked to lower his stool as far as possible, apparently to avoid having him stand out like Gandalf among the Hobbits.
"Snuggle in," the photographer would say. (Fun fact: 14- and 12-year-old boys do not love being told by a complete stranger to snuggle up to their parents.)
"You're the man," he told my sons as they posed in turn with elbow on knee and tilted their chins as instructed. (Fun fact #2: 14- and 12-year-old boys do not love being told they're 'the man,' when, clearly, that title belongs to Gandalf.)
Now, I have a history of bursting into laughing fits at inopportune times such as funerals and concerts. (Anyone remember Elaine and the Pez dispenser from Seinfeld? That's me.) And I was close to it on Saturday. Very, very close. I'm sure the portraits will show the maniacal gleam of repressed hysteria in my eyes--especially the shot where I had to "snuggle" directly back into my husband's crotch as he sat on his lowered stool.
As we left, my older son said to me, "I used to wonder how all those Awkward Family Photos got taken. Now I know."
Now for two of my favorite family photos:
My family, circa 1973. That's me on the right.
My husband (also on the right), his parents, and one of his brothers, taken in Holland, 1971, when his dad was working there.
And if you've not seen the real Awkward Family Photos, you can find them here.