It is nearly the beginning of a new year. I sent out my Christmas/New Years cards though I avoided Facebook seasons greetings because of the feeling that for some, life may not seem so great right now.
The smiling faces and happy happy appearance of the lives of others can be kind of silencing/deafening when your heart is feeling low and hopeless.
If that is you, I just want to say I hear you.
Below is the photo I took for our Christmas card photo. It was early in December and I knew the next day it was going to warm up, rain, and wash all that beautiful snow away. So I was on a mission.
Kevin helped me get the boys together in vests and warm yet photogenic clothes. I set up the camera in front of the playhouse. Kevin very “scrappily” built the boys a playhouse this past summer with a base structure of palettes foraged from the dump. I then went back to the house to gather everyone.
Our 4 year old put up resistance first. He screamed to be given a ride up to the playhouse in his sled. Honestly it was not really a crazy request, but I balked at it anyway and then wisely gave in when I saw I was losing the battle. Once we were all up at the playhouse the kids weren’t quite cooperating with my vision.
Instead of keeping my cool, I melted down.
It was kind’a ugly.
I cried in a VERY hormonal pregnant way and went on and on about how I only asked them to do this 1x a year for our Christmas photo… yada yada yada. I went back to the house crying all the way. I gathered myself, took off the puffy winter coat I was feeling very frumpy in, wiped my tears, and headed back to the lions den to try again.
To the boys credit and Kevin’s, they all had pulled it together and we got this photo:
I look at it and appreciate its sparkle even more knowing what we looked like and how we felt just minutes before. It is a vivid reminder of our imperfect life.
Yet at the same time when sending it out on cards I realize people only see the seconds after/sanitized version.
Since the cards hit the mail I have confessed this story to as many people as I could. I have felt this great urge for people to see inside the photo. It is so easy for us all to look at each other and only see the “picture perfect” and not the other side. But isn’t it the other side that really gives us communion with one another?
I love my family, I love my life, it’s true, but we are not perfect and never will be.
So here’s to the real in 2013. Whether you are saying bring it on, not so fast, or come what may, I wish you a picture imperfect, but very real year full of unexpected blessings.