I find that it is usually the Mom’s job to arrange and document the family over the years. That is fine for me, I have always loved taking photos. My grandfather was a member of the Baltimore amateur photo club back in the 1960s and I vividly remember hanging out in the dark room he built in his basement when I was pre-school age. Now that photos are digital, I’m never without a camera, or cell phone, and I am official “photo album creator” at the end of each year to make sure that we have something in print.
Of course, pressing the shutter button and cropping the photo using software is the easy part. Getting the family into the frame is the bitch.
Every year during our annual Key West vacation, we trek everyone to the Hemingway House and Gardens for our annual portrait. This place is special to us since we actually got married here. And we’ve made a point to go back at least once a year and have our photo taken on the corner of the house with the lighthouse in the background. This way we have a running collection of how we have changed over the years.
This year’s adventure was no different….except the kids now have a little more “say” in what is happening. Here’s how it went down:
Thursday – get everyone dressed and start a day early just in case… Matilda cries because she doesn’t want to go. Get in the car. Matilda cries because she wants to wear her other dress. Drive to McDonalds and get everyone milkshakes to help them find their “happy place”. Realize Lane is asleep and drink his milkshake. Drive back to condo. Matilda cries. Dave and Matilda go swimming, Mommy and Lane go shopping. Matilda cries.
Friday – Mommy has decided that regardless of the rain, outfits, or crying that – dammit – this is going to be an awesome family outing. Dammit. Put everyone in the car so we can be at the house as soon as then open at 9 a.m. Drive to the other side of the island, find a place to park, dig through the car for every spare peace of change to pay the meter for an hour. Walk to the Hemingway house — only to realize that Lane has a FULL diaper, and we forgot the spares. Ooops. Ok, so we beg a stranger to take the family photo and let Matilda play with the cats while the hubby takes care of Lane and we let him freewheel it for awhile. Which is great — for about 15 minutes. You’d be surprised how much a 2 year old can pee. We just pretended that one of the infamous cats made that mess on the porch (thank GOD it was outside) and packed up and headed home.
But, for all the effort and trouble, the yearly photos are worth it. And watching my kids grow up to feel close to a literary giant ain’t so bad either.