I haven’t sent out Christmas cards yet. There was a point last week that I had convinced myself not to do them this year; we really have no extra money and *newsflash* it’s really difficult to get a good picture of a disabled three year old who has lost most of his head control and a squirmy 10 month old who has more interest in trying to grab (and probably break) my camera than take a decent picture with her brother.
Not that I didn’t try. And try again. And try a third time. I guess it’s no wonder I decided to forget about it this year.
But then I was sad at the thought of no Christmas card for my daughter’s first Christmas, and I do have two decent separate pictures of the kids. So today I’m scrambling to get them ordered.
Our life is good, but far from perfect. And I know that, and everyone else knows that. So why do I feel the need to send out a cleaned up/glossed over snapshot of my life on cardstock every December? What am I trying to say?
There are definitely moments of every day that are chaotic. We have some unique challenges and obstacles that most people don’t contend with that tend to add to that chaos. But my reality is this: most of the day we are ok. For the majority of the day, most days, no one is screaming or hurt. So why can’t we take Christmas card pictures that show the “ordinary” good of every day?
If I was really being “real”, out of all the pictures I attempted, this is the one I would probably put on our card. When I picture our good days in my mind, this is what that looks like.
These are my kids, my life. Charlotte: happy to be in the spotlight, always wanting something in her hands. mischievous and busy. Grayson: sweetest boy ever, happy to be with his people and his music, but physically, not able to control his body.
But no, I can’t use this picture! I can’t have Charlotte holding a toy lobster and my camera lens cap on my Christmas card! Grayson has to hold his head up for 2 seconds so I can get him looking “normal”. And oh, I’ve got to get his arms out of the picture, because that’s not cute when they’re held like that.
But this picture is cute. And it is very much my life, much of the time.
But why do I care so much that Grayson look normal on our Christmas card? I was texting my friend during naptime and asked this very question, and in her wisdom she replied, “…because you wish he was”.
Ouch. But true.
But I guess that’s what everyone does with holiday cards, pictures on facebook and on their blogs- we present our lives to others (and sometimes ourselves) as we wish it could really be. And it works sometimes. I open beautiful cards with perfectly dressed children who are perfectly posed and think, wow, what an amazing life they have. How do they do that, is it real? How do they have it all together?
Because I sure don’t.