I had the lovely experience of getting our family ready for the annual Christmas card photo. Joy. Bliss.
After a surge of complaining, figuring out what items in six different closets had any chance of matching, wiping faces clean from BBQ potato chips, and patiently waiting for Miss 14 almost 15 to apply the proper amount of make up and muster up a pair of jeans that didn't "squeeze the life out of her legs" everyone was rustled into the car for the 5 minute drive to a picturesque scene.
Immediately, the youngest complained that he was thirsty, and the seven year old began eating a left over rice crispy treat he found in Dad's car. Joy. Bliss.
My daughter complained that her hair was getting blown from the open window, and the twelve year old insisted that the area I chose for a background for our photos was insufficient.
Some old farm land had been groomed, and a beautiful library, resembling an old two story home with a large porch was the perfect setting to me. The grass area nestled wooden benches and a white gazebo sat directly in the middle of what was the front yard of the library.
The boys hit the ground running and continued to berate me about going into the library instead of remaining outside for our picture taking. Denied. The brand new shoes which sat on the feet of my two youngest quickly became a holding ground for smears of mud.
My girlfriend patiently waited for the youngest to rouse his boneless legs to stand up straight, my oldest to stop complaining about the ants, the oldest boy to stifle offering his expert scenery advise, and the middle mister, with his Fedora pulled low, to open his eyes. Joy. Bliss.
My husband's white shirt bleached him out too much, my daughter's bangs blew into her eyes at the flash, the youngest had a smile resembling that of a prisoner who just had his dinner withheld, and the collar of my sweater kept flipping inside.
We survived the one hour photo moment and after 109 clicks, I am happy to report that we have a handful of photos to choose from. A handful. Five.
The photo we like would be perfect, if only I could remove the shadow from my daughter's nose, lift up my son's chin so he is not looking down, put a black v-neck sweater over my husband's white shirt, and eliminate the rose bush leaf protruding in the foreground.
We could retake the photos, however, that would mean that I would have to start popping prescription drugs at frequent moments throughout the day.
There is a reason why Christmas photos only happen once a year. The pain is easily forgotten over time - all the joy and bliss.