And even then, it only tells part of the story.
A few weeks ago, on a warm Friday in September, one of our dear friends drove from Wisconsin to take our family photos.
We ended up with several shots worthy of a Christmas card.
But those photos are a mere snapshot, a frozen second in time.
They don't tell the whole story.
Behind the scenes, Kieran was having a rough day. He hadn't taken a nap at home, opting instead to sleep in the car during the afternoon school drive. He woke up about half an hour before our session began, cranky and disoriented, liable to burst into tears at the slightest provocation, sucking his finger like it was a drug.
Teyla was grumpy too, but her scowl was due to our photographer, Nicole, having the nerve to be married to Josh, Teyla's true love. So instead of being amiable, Teyla spent our entire time together scowling and glaring at Nicole. The only way we could get her to smile was to tickle her, or let Nicole frame the shot, then have Josh click the shutter.
It was hard work. And not the best time of our lives.
But you know what? Our family does not let the grumpy win. It was so bad, it started to get funny. I started to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
We started to get goofy.
Which begat "let's beat each other with the letters that spell family."
And then Kieran decided he was so over this photography thing.
So we took one last picture and called it a day.
But you know what? It's all good. This is us. We aren't just the polished, smiling family on the Christmas card. There is so much more to our story. One photo can't tell it all.
And that's OK with me. Because the beauty of life is writing this story story together, one day, one snapshot, at a time.
Photos courtesy 1000 Words Photography and the incomparable Nicole Wilke
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