Life is Perfectly Imperfect
I think back to 1994 when my family traveled to New York for Thanksgiving. My father made reservations and the person on the phone kept pushing him to sit in the music section. My father believing every holiday should look like a Norman Rockwell painting envisioned classical music being played in the background while we ate a beautiful plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy with all the fixings in New York. We got dressed up and arrived, and it quickly became obvious that my Dad’s taste in music was drastically different than the host's taste in music. There was a cheesy DJ, with horrible lights that included a stop signal, a dance floor, and a disco ball. My Dad was absolutely horrified, disgusted, and honestly outraged that anyone could do this to the holidays. My sister and I were taught early on when you travel you embrace the culture around you and so we got up and danced to Abba’s Dancing Queen and other 70’s music. We laughed, we danced (probably poorly) and had a good time. My Dad never did find the fun or humor in this. This was NOT what Thanksgiving was about. To date, that was my most favorite Thanksgiving ever. It was everything Thanksgiving shouldn’t have been, the dinner was awful, the service was awful (and who could blame them, they were serving us, instead of being with their families) the cheesy DJ was bad. Dad was steaming mad, but my sister and I got up and danced, and laughed. We were in New York for Thanksgiving with family and it was amazing.
I think about this often. How you visualize things and how they turn out. My first newborn session was similar to this. I came to the house with baskets, baby trunks, and outfits. I couldn’t wait to pose the sleepy little newborn in all of his little positions. I couldn’t wait to get that perfect family photo and sweet sibling picture. I was nervous, but I knew I could do it. And then I arrived…..
My sweet little newborn decided this would be the day that he would be awake for hours. His photogenic little 3-year-old brother did not want his picture taken, especially in any nice shirt. When he saw my little trunk for his brother, he wanted me to take his picture in his big trunk. And like that my vision was shattered and I had to go with the flow. And then big brother jumped into his trunk and was silly, and I look this photo.
Currently, this is my all-time favorite photo. I wasn’t planning on having a solo picture of Max, but it was unexpected and perfect.
My point is, we have plans and we have life and they are not the same. So if your children want to wear the superhero shirt to be happy, let them. You see them more often in that superhero shirt than the dress shirt anyway. You want to remember the smiles and the laughter, not the tears of photo sessions. You just never know what might happen.
The other point of this is let’s discuss what your hope for the photo session is. Let’s talk in detail so that way when you are hoping for classical music for Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t end up with a 70’s disco.