We have all been there right? Where my family was last Sunday morning… My wife and I rotating shifts in our home kitchen turned quick-serve restaurant whipping up the breakfast requests of our 3 and 4 year old daughters while we rotate through the regular chaos that seems to never stop at our house….
Feed the dog, take out the trash, this kid needs their drink refilled, can you clean up that mess while I jump in the shower, this one needs help with their hair, the dog is out of water now….. You get the idea, right?
On a normal morning when the goal is just get out of the door on time, we can usually handle it… but on family picture day the stakes are always higher…
Our odds normally run about 50/50, which is pretty fair compared to what some friends tell us. We usually have about a 50% chance that we will get several decent family pictures; everyone is smiling, weather cooperated, no major wardrobe issues or kid meltdowns… or spouse meltdowns.
But this time our chances started to drop the night before when the 3 year old took a nose dive into the corner of the couch; leaving a swollen and scratched up cheek…. Never fails!
So in the morning after the craziness of breakfast and showers and no one happy with what they were assigned to wear but none-the-less dressed and a round of bathroom roulette and now wife and kid 2 waiting in the car… and the 4 year old hiding in the corner upset about who knows what….
At this point I am pulling out all the text book horrible dad tricks I know, offing bribes I know I can’t follow through with… “I’ll buy you a unicorn, whatever just get in the car!”
We rush frantically to the park, which is so packed there is no parking… it seemed everyone decided to pick the same day and place for family pictures!
As we pry two very cranky kids from car seats my wife and I are hopeful at this point for at least 1 good picture… “Let’s do this thing and get out of here!” we agree.
The next 45 minutes felt like time stood still… while our patient photographer attempted with incredible effort to capture something wall worthy…. Battling what seemed like the perfect storm… a packed park, uncooperative kids and shifting light. Our chances of a good family photo were fading like the Sun.
119 pictures later we gave it our best, well my wife and I at least, our kids were NO help! There does not appear to be a single “perfect” shot, but plenty of “almost perfect” ones… this kids is smiling but this one is not, people in the background, weird shadows and so on…
All I could think was, I could have done something different, not sleep in those extra 15 mins after my alarm went off, helped a bit more with getting the kids ready… knowing how important this was to my wife I was certainly a bit disappointed it didn’t go smoother, the way we imagined it… capturing some great family photos and this fun moment in time with two little girls that are growing faster than we can keep up with…
The thing is, it really got me thinking about how often things happen beyond our control and how we tend to plan for the best with little or no options when nothing seems to go right.
Now don’t get me wrong, I realize it is not the end of the world that we didn’t the perfect photo, I mean clearly the best of 119 shown at the top here brings out my personal charm 😁 And we still have great memories captured now from this season of our lives…
But at the end of the day, I spend most of my days dealing with the statistics of risk or discussing the potentials of how when the unexpected happens most are unprepared or all too often people come to me after something bad has happened wishing they had done something sooner.
Most of the time I think it comes down to simply not knowing what options DO exist or taking the time to explore them… If there is someone that can guarantee me the perfect family photo, where my kids are happy and we didn’t have to wait for the right time of year and the right outfits and the right light and on and on and on…
And better yet if the cost was only a tiny fraction more than what the “regular” family photo day cost, well that would be a no brainer… in fact, it would probably SAVE me money in the long run… without the stress and worry leading up to, scheduling, photo editing the injuries out of the kids faces.. I mean, really it would be money VERY WELL spent… don’t you think?