Friday, March 23, 2012

For love of the picture…

For the past four years, as soon as Spring gets close, Carrie and I start planning Easter chick pictures. Also known as twenty minutes of pure chaos where we do everything imaginable to try to get a cute picture of our kids with the brand new, fresh-from-the-Mizell-farm chicks.

The first year, way back in 2009, it meant propping our baby girls in their Bumbo seats and singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to try to get smiles from them.1

The next year it meant protecting chicks from Allie’s squeeze and keeping the chicks out of AB’s sight to keep her from crying!

Last year things got a little easier. AB was no longer terrified of the chicks, but it was still almost impossible to get BOTH kids to look at the camera. DSC_8640

This year, things got even more challenging since we’ve added two to the group. Whitt & Mamie were the easy ones, though. Those big sisters give us a run for our money and we resorted to full on bribery this year. I had two prizes in my car for the girls and Carrie had stocked up on M&Ms. Not even that worked this year, though. DSC_4978



Mamie was the chick-whisperer- they all loved her! DSC_5042



DSC_5052We didn’t get the perfect picture we’d imagined (we did get some cute ones though)…Allie got shoo-shooed on…AB was DONE after she saw said shoo-shoo…and the mommas were running on short patience yesterday. I even (accidentally, but I still felt terrible) knocked AB in the head with my camera after I had just gotten on to her. Not my finest Momma-Moment for sure. ALL for the LOVE of a picture.

We got changed and had lunch, then headed home. DSC_5110

Whitt & Maybree relaxing after lunch. :)

Both the girls slept the whole way.

I looked in my rear view mirror and saw those sweet sleeping faces and was reminded that it isn’t about the picture at all. Yes, I love a good picture of my kids, and when they are grown I want to be able to look back at all the pictures we’ve taken over the years, but more than that, I want the memory to be alive in them—not just a picture on paper. I want them to always feel how loved they are and how their momma loved doing things with them and for them. I don’t want them to remember me getting ill because they wouldn’t look at the camera and take a good picture.

I was really feeling regretful that I hadn’t taken the time to make the chick experience more fun for AB. I didn’t even let her hold them and play before I expected her to sit and smile for a picture. Don’t get me wrong, she’s three and we are working REALLY HARD on listening and following directions, and I feel as her parent, I should expect her to do what I ask her to do (even if its sit still and smile for a picture). But my problem was expecting that ONLY… I didn’t remember that she IS just 3 and maybe if I’d let her play for a minute, she’d have been more likely to cooperate better. Of course, like I said, she’s three, so she might not have. Ha.

Thankfully, children are way more resilient than our Momma-guilt lets us believe, because AB told everyone she saw yesterday about her morning with the baby chicks, how she’d had a fun day, AND about how they pooped on Allie. :)

So I’m guessing maybe I can redeem myself after all. Maybe she won’t grow up remembering me getting ill over her not looking at the camera, she’ll just remember all the crazy things her momma & Aunt Carrie used to get them into! :)

And while, I will STILL be snapping pictures of them left and right and bribing and begging them to look at the camera, I will also take time to remind myself that either way, we’ll never get these moments back. Whether we have a picture of it or not. DSC_4957



Surrounded-By-Boys said...

oh my-the pics are SO CUTE but that last one? OH THAT LAST ONE melts my heart.......

Arielle said...

oh my gosh i love that last picture!! :))

Immeasurably More Mama said...

I think most mommas want the "perfect picture" and have worked ourselves into a tizzy trying to get it. I've had to let go of this expectation many times and get so frustrated when one of mine will not cooperate. It drives me CRAZY because if I handle it like other discipline issues it probably would not help the situation. Sigh. You are so right to just enjoy the moments...and sometimes just take mental pictures. :) the last picture is PRICELESS!

Russel Ramblings said...

Those pictures are beautiful! The last one especially was a super sweet pic!

Anonymous said...

i am kind of at a loss for words. but not so much that i can't say this...... the last picture just about did me in especially after the "loving" i saw at church with these sisters. you need NOT feel any momma guilt. you need to teach some classes. a picture is worth a thousand words because when they take our breath away we can't speak. :)

Paige Colson said...

that last picture is beautiful! - They are all cute but that last one is gorgeous!