Little Yellow Notepad

A Facebook-worthy Family Photo

Posted on: February 15, 2014

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Just about every friend out there has one. And If you’re one of the few who doesn’t, I’m sure you go to sleep at night feeling like you’re the only one out there who can’t get it all together.

Well, I was  one of the inadequate few who didn’t have the Facebook-worthy photo to brag about; until about a month ago.

Truthfully, I’m usually on top of the annual family photo and we do it every summer. But although it was 18 months later, and there was a new member of the family since then, I still recalled the details of that photo shoot too vividly. Kids running in all directions, bribes, threats and finally plea bargaining…

We had gotten our Facebook worthy photo and left, with a silent promise that the next family photo would be at my oldest son’s wedding (he was 7!).

Well, that all changed last month.

I was feeling the pressure; we needed a family photo. And an outdoor one at that. Besides for the beauty of the outdoors, a bonus would be that we wouldn’t be disturbing other families (whose kids were always so well behaved!) from their photo session.

So we set a time and place, a darling pond across the street from my home; and a dear, talented, photographer friend offered to take our photo.

Picture day arrived. All was going well until it was time to get dressed. I gave all the boys their required white shirt/denim pants. Within two minutes, they were dressed and ready to go.

And then it was time to tell my daughter what she’d wear. I had it all worked out. With just me and her as the girl team, I chose clothing we had similar. It would be so cute! Apparently, she didn’t think it was cute.

She chose that moment to give me a prelude to her teenage years.  After all, the boots I suggested were so uncomfortable. The skirt was too straight, she couldn’t run in it. (You’re not supposed to run while taking family photos!!) The shirt was her least favorite. The socks were itchy. And the bow pulled at her hair.

And there I found myself once again bribing, begging and plea bargaining…

My Facebook-worthy photo was crumbling before my very own eyes.

I compromised…and compromised…and compromised…reminding myself that this was a battle not worth fighting.

And off we went to meet the rest of the crew. They were already assembled at the pond. A quick team meeting; laying out some rules, expectations and rewards. And then my husband and I put on determined smiles, because we were committed to making this enjoyable.

The photographer told everyone to smile, and two of them frowned.

He said everyone lean in, and one leaned out.

Everyone hands around each other, and three ducked out of the photo.

Everyone look at the camera, and the baby looked the other way.

And then they wandered off to throw pebbles in the pond. I was sure one of them would end up in the pond.

But they were having fun!

We tried a walking photo. Not much interest.

A running photo – that went over well.

The kids were clearly done. Our photographer assured me he had some good shots.

They went back to running. Through the grass and up the hill. And then back to throwing pebbles. Watch the camera! Careful of the equipment! But clearly they were making good memories.

And boy was I surprised when the next morning I saw an email from the photographer with a Facebook-worthy photo!

And like all good moms do, I posted it for the world to see. And I watched the likes go up. And the comments.

And marveled how easy it is to fool each other with our Facebook-worthy photos.

We all do it. We post photos that hide the reality.

If only those photos could talk and tell us the truth. What REALLY went on in those moments before and after the photo.

Now that would be posts worth reading, posts that would brighten our day!

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