I have a favorite photo of me and the kids. I remember the day it was taken. It was quickly snapped by a friend, not the result of a professional photoshoot.
Everyone is looking in different directions. We are tired and messy. And yet, it remains my top pick.
The picture always surfaces this time of year. When I saw it this morning, I began to think about what it represents-an honest reflection of one day in the life of a young, stay-at-home mom.
That particular day was far from perfect. I remember having a migraine earlier that afternoon. The medicine I took made me sleepy. I also remember my husband, Gart, was not be able to attend the fall festival with us. He had a graduate school class that night. That meant I had three kids to get ready for the evening festivities by myself.
With the help of some friends, we made it to the party. Everyone had a costume. Robert was Superman, Rachel-Tigger, and Ryan-a baby bumblebee. The kids had fun playing games, spending time with friends, and collecting candy. If you look closely, you can see their candy buckets hanging on the handles of Ryan’s stroller.
My friend took the picture at the end of the evening. I remember collapsing onto the floor. The kids just naturally settling in my lap. Three tired kids and one tired mom. Yet in the picture, I am still smiling.
After considering the story surrounding my favorite photo, I am left with this truth: A perfect picture has more to do with the memories it evokes than with the image itself.
Our picture is beautifully imperfect. It reminds me of a busy and challenging time in my life. A time I would not trade for all the perfect pictures in the world.