Some holiday traditions include hot cocoa, twinkle lights and
reciting 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Other holiday
traditions include Spanx, sweating profusely, dress shoes, new
clothes and reciting:
"Listen to me this minute! When Mommy gets you dressed and combs
your hair and puts your shoes on, you WILL sit on this couch and
watch a show and not jump, eat, run, drink anything, play, touch
each other, touch your hair or move a SINGLE muscle until Mommy is
done fixing her hair. If you disobey, there will be no chocolate
milk again for the rest of the month. Do you understand!?!?"
You see, I kind of have a love/hate relationship with family
Every year, it is the same routine: I book the appointment, try
to have coordinating yet not too matchy-matchy outfits, bathe,
dress and primp the children. Then, I must bathe, dress, primp and
Spanx myself. Next, I make sure my husband helps me pack snacks,
drinks, toys and bribe treats for the children. Then, we head to
the shoot, sweating, but at least ready for the photographer.
My husband and I spend the next hour saying things like: "Mommy
brought Kit Kats!" and "How about one more smile and then we can
play iPad when we get home?" or "If you hold really still and not
touch your hair, we will build Lego towers." and "Come here, and I
promise we can go on the swings!"
When we get home, the kids put on comfy clothes. I deSpanx. My
husband starts the hot cocoa. Then, we make good on the bribe
promises we made to the children. We play Legos, go on swings and
let them eat Kit Kats and play iPad to their hearts' content.
Every year after family photo day is over, I collapse in my bed
and as my eyes close and I drift off to sleep I make the same
promise to myself that I will not do it again. I hate all this
silliness just take some lousy pictures. The work, the sweating,
the Spanx, the bribe treats and the trying to get my children to
stay clean all at the same time for more than two hours is more
than I can handle. I tell myself that I will just use an iPhone
photo and call it a day.
Then, the photos arrive.
Just like labor and delivery, I quickly forget the pain and
anguish that family portrait day brings when I see how beautiful
the photos turn out.
It doesn't matter the photographer, location or what we are
wearing. It just matters we are together and smiling. And while I
have taken thousands of photos of the kids myself, I am so grateful
to have photos that capture all of us together. My husband and I
hardly ever get to be on the other side of the lens and these
photos are just a wonderful reminder of how blessed we are to have
created this family of ours.
That's when I fall in love with family portrait day all over
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Erin Skibinski is a mom of three living in Frankfort.
See more of Erin's stories here.
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