Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pictures and cake

Originally published in the Miami News-Record, October 2019. 

A couple weekends ago, through some bizarre form of maternal magic, I managed to get all of the kids and their significant others to our house for an extended period of time. Sam’s girlfriend, Maegan, is playing basketball in Arkansas now and it was the very last weekend she was going to be able to leave campus until the holidays. The weather was forecasted to be good, we needed to celebrate Abby’s birthday, so I planned family pictures. I stressed to the kids that I needed this to happen. The next time we see Maegan will likely be after a ballgame or as we’re chowing down on Thanksgiving dinner and neither an is extremely photogenic moment. The stars aligned. Everyone was available. The plan was to start taking the couples’ pictures around the time the grandgirls were getting up from nap and then they’d come up once the girls were awake and dressed. 

Outdoor pictures are fickle. Lighting is tricky and if you use the sun the way you should, everyone is squinty. If you don’t risk corneal burns, you have face shadows. Then, top it off, we live on the highest hill in Ottawa County. The wind hadn’t blown all day, but as soon as we walked outside it started in. Hair was getting stuck in lipstick all over the place. Earlier in the day I had asked Paul to mow out a little spot at the edge of the field so we’d have a space to stand. As we headed out to take pictures I saw that he had not done so. But all of the sudden it didn’t matter because as we walked out to scope out the area, Penny, Kady’s dog decided that THAT particular spot was THE most perfect place in our gigantic yard to take not one but TWO significantly sized poops. She’s not even that big of a dog. 

We took Sam and Maegan’s first, then moved on to Zach and Kady. We were finishing up as Abby and Dakota drove up. As soon as Penny heard the grandgirls’ voices she tried to run for the hills. She is terrified of them and tends to poop when she sees them, but considering the fact she’d already taken care of that business in our original backdrop, she thankfully wasn’t doing that. We got the girls distracted in another part of the yard while we snapped the last few with the dog, then Kady took her in the house to safety. 

The next hour was spent making absolute fools of ourselves for the sake of a few smiles out of Wemberly and Petal. Wemberly is smiley and expression-able, but Petal takes a little more coaxing. And coax we tried. They did amazing considering they are two and three and of course, I find them two of the most fetching creatures on the face of the earth. 

While we were waiting for a ladder for the group shot (since I’m the photographer, I have to have something to set the camera on when I’m in the pictures) Sam took the camera and snapped a few of me. I had my hand resting on the back of a chair, I had just lowered my scathing “Bass eyebrow” because my husband had been acting a fool and sometimes the eyebrow is all the works. 

I have some reflections on the photos he took, but those will have to wait for another day. I feel like waxing poetic and reflective on your crow’s feet a mere paragraph or two from where you described your daughter’s dog’s photo-sabotaging poop-scapade might be conflicting and not at all literarily correct. It might affect the general tone of both stories, so we’ll leave it at this: 

My family is awesome. Family picture day is always stressful, windy, chaotic, and this year, poopy. But when the pictures were over, it was the almost-21-year-old who said, “Hey, Mom? We all smiled pretty. Can we have cake now?” And it was my pleasure to lead them inside for cake at the dining room table. They are my whole heart. 

No comments:

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...