I love this crazy crew of mine… fiercely. They are rough and tumble, but so sweet… loud and obnoxious, but thoughtful and tender… creative and inventive, and messy as all-get-out. And although I lament (frequently) about the constant state of chaos and the messiness of life, I also would not have it any other way. This troupe of hoodlums is perfect in all its imperfection.
Capturing this shot was about as tumultuous as attempting to lead wild geese on leashes through a park. While my littles are adorable, they respond to the camera as if it’s a lazer beam of death and they have a tendency to squirm, fidget, make sour faces, and downright crumble to the ground as if their skin is being singed from their precious little bodies. And hence my lamenting.
My mother is the one who hears my groaning the most. Yes, she’s a saint. She gets to hear about my insecurities of parenting.. the moments when I whine incessantly about the puppy pooping on my wooden deck or my driveway (cause she’s a nutcase and fits right in)… the moments when I stress about scheduling, how to work three jobs and make sure my kids are supported, loved, and carted to every activity mankind thought to create because their mother thinks it will make them “well-rounded”… the moments when I fiercely defend them when they face injustice or down-right jerks out there in the real world. She’s the one who hears it all. And she’s the one who gives me perspective.
She paints a beautiful picture in the midst of all these challenges. A picture of a family actually living life. Because really, it’s not about the millisecond that they all turn at the exact same moment, face the camera and decide to look like normal human beings. It’s not about that picture. The real picture… the perfectly precious and beautiful picture of life… is the one captured before and after and in between those moments. The ones when they truly giggle at one another ‘til they are rolling around on the ground, unable to hear me asking them to brush their teeth. The times when one brother asks the other to sit down and have dinner together after a ballgame. The times when they tenderly pile their sister on their laps and read a book with her. The times when they snuggle the dog, or sing rock band off key at the top of their lungs, or smash their bodies in the crack between their two beds so they can sleep together almost on top of each other. Those are the real moments where the beautiful picture is painted. Those are the pictures that, if captured at all, don’t look perfect. But they are perfect just the same.