That’s life: When the Easter photo doesn’t quite happen
I doubt that we’re the only family with children and grandchildren who didn’t quite manage to get an Easter photo of all the family members.
I have learned that if a group photo happens, it’s great, and if it doesn’t happen, well, like my friend Martha always used to say, “That’s life.” She used to say it, not because she’s physically gone, but because her great mind is now gone. I’m very sad, but that too is life.
With toddlers and babies in tow—naps, feedings, wanting to change out of sometimes uncomfortable or chilly Easter outfits as soon as possible, mild tantrums—these things can all get in the way of managing an Easter family photo when together.
That’s ok. That’s life. Because after all, we know that a beloved but controversial religious leader being crucified on a cross and then experiencing an amazing resurrection is all about getting a beautiful Easter picture with everybody in suits and smiles.
The important thing about life is not the perfect family photo, as my kids are teaching me, but that you truly live it—every, every minute, (as another great mind used to say—Thorton Wilder, in his play, “Our Town.”)
We actually managed to all gather together quickly outside the church building while waiting for the Easter egg hunt and posed for a picture. I grabbed a dear man, Mark, (and he’ll feel terrible if he reads this, but it is SO NOT his fault), and I neglected to turn the camera switch to “take photos” instead of “view photos.” I never realized this until it was far too late for a do over. So. No Easter Family Photo for 2016. We didn’t get one either in 2015 or 14, but I felt ok about 2014 because we had planned a professional family photo shoot a few weeks later.
Instead, I do have various not-group photographs and bushels of sweet memories that no one quite managed to grab on camera, but that’s ok. We lived the moments, like visiting my brother-in-law who just had knee surgery a week and a half earlier, and little Sam being asked by a second cousin,“Sam, did you bring me any Easter eggs” and while he/we had NOT, the quick little thinker, though just two-and-a-half-years-old—ran to a little shopping cart he’d been given to play with which was filled with colorful plastic eggs, grabbed an egg, and took it smiling (like he knew he’d pulled a good trick) to cousin Anna.
Or, tracking behind another grandson, future track star James, who, while we were waiting for the Knights of Columbus Saturday morning egg hunt to begin, decided to make like Forrest Gump and just took off running and running and running all around the park with father following him, uncle following him, and even Grandma following him. No one got pictures of that, but on Sunday at the Trinity egg hunt, I managed to get one of my daughter Doreen chasing little James.
I have no photos of Sam watching out the car window every where we went that weekend in the lovely Shenandoah Valley countryside exclaiming “Moo cow!” with delight when he’d spot them. Upon seeing a brown cow he’d launch into “How now, brown cow?” from a storybook someone has read him.
And I have this lovely mother-son duo of shots, standing in the exact same doorway at our church which meets in an antebellum old house. The photos were taken eight years apart. Was the bride contemplating a future little man standing there? How about many years hence—will the little man wait there for his own bride? I don’t even want to think that far into the future! (Note: no one asked James to pose for this, it just happened.)
I also have scattered unposed photos of spring blooms and outfits,
Knights of Columbus egg hunt moments (can you find two month old Henry??)
And Grandpa Stuart rocking the newest addition to the tribe, young Henry Stuart who is smiling at Aunt Doreen.
The photos I have are enough. My heart is full. For all these gifts I am so very thankful.
How do you work at combining Easter customs with the meaning behind them?
Do you have any tried and true methods for organizing a quick family photo that doesn’t have the toddlers in tantrums and the teens rolling their eyes?? And no cheesy smiles?
This part is mainly for my Trinity friends:
I’m thankful for those who took the time and energy to pose this group shot of Trinity members and attendees in the fall of 1985. (Click to enlarge.) It includes pastor Dan and Pat Grandstaff (upper far left), our two oldest daughters (Tanya and Michelle in center of front row, next to Joannie in her wheelchair) along with Stuart (gray shirt by upper left white column) and I (maroon maternity jumper near the center of the photo, with Doreen just “on the way”). The photo is also full of so many dear departed saints. Below is a photo of the egg hunters from 2016, this one taken and shared by John Henderson.
Front row left to right: Michelle, me, grandson James, grandson Sam, Tanya. Our new pastor, Stephanie Sorge Wing and her older son Isaac are right behind us. Click the link on Stephanie’s name to get to our newly restored and relaunched website for Trinity! (I will work on updating other links to Trinity’s website on my blog in the near future, they mostly don’t work right now.)