This summer we had family photos done at the park. The pictures we shared with family and friends, the one ones we’ll frame, show a loving family. Smiles, embraces, tender moments. But what about the ones that end up on the cutting room floor? The ones where my chin is more than double, where H’s cowlick is out of control, or A’s eyes are half shut?
Or even… the ones where we don’t look like a loving family at all?! The ones where H is dragging on me and haranguing in my ear, and A isn’t helping, and I just look disgusted with them both? Well of course those don’t end up on the mantle…
This afternoon was rough! H complained the.whole.time. and A just stayed out of it instead of helping. And me? Well I was just wretched. Now say cheese!
Instead of my favourite memory being spending this time with my family, capturing these moments for always, it was instead with the photographer when he shared a glimpse into his own experience with an angsty teenage boy: he said H was just fine, this was totally to be expected, teenagers nearly always hate these photo days, and his own son was a miserable thing in his teenage years.
I felt SO reassured… truly! Of COURSE we know these things… but sometimes (many times) we need to hear them too! When our own lives feel like they’re a mess and things are going wrong, it’s too easy to compare to others’, or even our own, expectations… and it never measures up.
Right now it seems our family has a number of things going sideways and comparing it to how I want it to be going is leaving me feeling a bit hopeless. This note was mostly a reminder for myself, (but maybe helpful for you too), NOT TO COMPARE THE OUTTAKES TO THE HIGHLIGHT REEL!
There’s always a behind-the-scenes and sometimes it is full of the most special, and private, moments. And sometimes it’s a shitshow.
It is just too easy to get too caught up in the bad to see the good. You see that duck pond behind our scowling and defeated faces? We have spent hours and hours there (OTHER days)… walking together, catching up on each other’s days, making plans, laughing, playing games… because even if it doesn’t look like it, this IS what a loving family looks like, outtakes and all. ♥♥♥