The air is getting crisp, those weird cinnamon brooms are in Trader Joe’s again, which can only mean one thing: that time of year is fast approaching……………
Time for the family photo.
Every year I force everyone to sit down and take one “nice” family picture. My husband calls it The Day of Tears. More than once the person in tears has been me.
This is not something I do to satisfy my masochistic tendencies (which, let’s be honest, I have).
It’s because way back in the day, the first year that we were married and living in Kentucky, I thought it would be nice to send a card to everyone back home letting them know that we were surviving marriage and…well…Kentucky.
So I started going through pictures from the year and found exactly zero–ZERO–of just the two of us looking normal. So I made us sit down, put the camera on timer, and take a picture of us and the dog.
Look how CALM everything is! How the lighting is just right. Sigh.
And there it was. The birth of the Day of Tears.
Yes it feels like a lot of effort for something so cheesy, but I know that when we get old(er) we will enjoy having a picture of all of us together each year. And so I power on.
I set a few ground rules:
1. We take the picture ourselves (I refuse to pay someone to watch my family melt down)
2. Everyone in the family has to be included
3. You have to be able to see everyone’s face
4. >=50% of us have to look happy.
Over the years things have become progressively more complicated.
Seating got a little tighter.
Then emotions got involved.
There ARE years where everyone appears relatively happy (or at least not hysterical) and is looking at the camera.
Those are special years.
As the years progressed wardrobe warfare has added an additional psychological element to the process.
And our bench is gradually beginning to collapse.
But I power on.
There are people who have accused me of staging our photos, or that we intentionally find a picture where one kid looks pissed.
To those people I say: you clearly have never seen the outtakes.
I also just realized that Eddie wore the same shirt two years in a row.
And yet she persisted.