Over the years, like so many families, when we were growing up, we endured the tortuous ritual of trying to come up with a photo for the annual family Christmas card. My parents were never in the card themselves; it was always "us." Initially, I suppose it was just Mary Kate. Then, Mary Kate and Sue. For quite some time, it was MK, Sue and Claudia.
Eddie came along 5 years later, and things were never quite the same ever again. (Above are Mary Kate and Sue, "the early years.") This wasn't an actual card, I'd venture to guess, but it was obviously the beginning,...at least for me.
We have lots of stray photos of the "rejects," which I actually enjoy more than the ones that were ultimately selected to grace cards. Judging from our sizes, and the attempts at decorations artfully surrounding us, I think the photo above and below here were during the same session, which means, brave parents that they were, that it also involved a changing of the clothes.
How my parents dealt with the frustrations of trying to capture all of us actually looking into the camera, with our eyes open, and not eating objects, in a pose that wasn't just god-awful to begin with, all in one photo, is beyond me.
As kids, we dreaded it each year: we knew it was going to take a substantial amount of time posing, and at that age, kids can't fathom time anyway, so it seemed to go on ad infinitum.
I'm still in awe that we ever came up with photos of us smiling at all, and without red eyes from the ordeal. The photo below, which I think I've posted before, (sorry!) was the year Eddie arrived. I distinctly remember my Scottish grandmother teaching us all to stand around the bassinet when he was born, and announce, "Welcome to your new home, Edward Anthony Schmidt." Yes, we actually practiced that.
One year, when he was very small, I can remember my parents giving Eddie a cookie to hold in a desperate attempt to engage his attention for the duration. Somewhere, there exist many pictures of him and his smeary hands and cheeks as he sort of mushed the cookie until it dissolved into oblivion.
I was reminded of all this impertinent tomfoolery last night, when Joe announced that "we have to take our Christmas photo of the two of us by the tree."
God...it all came back to me in an instant.
1 week ago