We took family photos this week. You probably don’t know this about me, I hate taking pictures. I have always hated taking pictures. It might stem from the childhood trauma of having pictures taken on bad hair days every year from 1st through 6th grade. Or perhaps, I can blame it on the irritation of the flash, which causes one or both my eyes to instinctively close. Whatever the cause, I do not enjoy having pictures taken.
So imagine my surprise when I received the first proofs of Sunday’s shoot. I keep staring at the photo. I see the familiar scowl on my husband’s face. My oldest is looking like the young lady I expect her to be. The youngest looks mischievous as usual. And the boy… That’s definitely my boy. But I don’t recognize the woman in the picture.
She had time to color coordinate the family’s outfits. Her hair is cute, and… is that makeup? She had time to put on makeup? She’s smiling and both eyes are open at the same time. Pretty sure that isn’t
Except that it is. It was me who contacted the photographer early that morning and instructed her to keep the lens focused on the kids, because I looked exceptionally haggard that morning. It was me who changed the color scheme the day of, because I couldn’t find my son’s shirt. And it was me who found a top that complemented the hues of my husband’s shirt, only for him to change shirts at the last minute, causing me no less than three full wardrobe changes! (I finally settled on a white shirt because white matches everything.)
But I think the main reason i don’t recognize the woman in the picture is because she looks like an adult. I still say chick and girl when describing myself. I’m not sure when I grew up. I mean, I’m certainly glad the teen years are over, and I am no longer a carefree (or careless) twenty-something. I thought full-fledged adulthood was a few years away. But this picture tells another story.
So I stare at the woman in the picture, and can almost here her whispering “Get your shit together, girl. You’ve got work to do.” And instinctively, I respond. ‘Yes ma’am.