Pictures Worth More than 1,000 Words

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Dear Kids,

Someday, when you’re reading this blog, you’ll notice that as the years went on, the time between posts stretched longer and longer. In the beginning, my goal was to post at least once a week. I would have liked to write more often, but I was just so tired, you guys. SO FREAKING TIRED. Not sure if you remember, but the three of you weren’t the biggest fans of sleeping. You didn’t (don’t) love going to bed. You didn’t (don’t) love staying in bed. You only loved (still love) getting OUT of bed. All the time. You’re a little bit better about it now, but just like with the boys’ aim while peeing, there’s always room for improvement.

These days, my schedule is looking more like one post per season. Yeah, that’s only four per year. (That’s right, MATH.) There are a few reasons for this slacking off, kids. (Not that I owe you guys any explanations… you have never adequately answered my question about why you need to wake up prior to six-oh-oh every single morning.)

First, you’re all getting older and more aware of social media. You say things like, “Are you going to put that on the Instagram?” (probably) or “Am I going to be famous since I’m on your nap blog?” (um, no). So, I do think twice about writing about your embarrassing behavior in a way that I didn’t when you were younger.

Second, I’m working on some other writing projects now. No, I don’t make any money for them. Did Daddy tell you to ask me that? I’m working on that project with Pop and I’ve been spending a lot of time on that. Yes, I know I only have about three pages written but writing is HARD and you know how long it takes to do hard things! Like really brushing your teeth (as opposed to the swiping method you guys prefer) or cleaning up the American Ninja Warrior Chopped: Team Matchbox vs. Team Hot Wheels set-up.

Third, books are awesome. And I really love to read them. That’s usually why I’m ignoring you guys! You guys should try the whole reading thing sometime. Something OTHER than the Cinnamon Toast Crunch box.

OK, some might call those excuses rather than reasons. Those are annoying people. Tomato, tomahto… let’s get out of it.

I saw something interesting in The New York Times the other day – or maybe it was on Facebook – either way, it was a challenge to parents to find ONE picture of your kid that best sums up his/her personality. Well. You guys probably know by now that I am the first one to jump down a rabbit hole of old photos. It’s just something I do. Dad plays golf and goes to Yankee games; Mom brunches with friends and looks through old photos. It’s important to have hobbies. So of course I was all, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Approximately 28½ hours later, I had narrowed it down to ten each. And then out of the ten, I chose ONE for each of you. Wanna see what I picked?

LO, you’re first. Here are the nine runners up:

Charlie

It’s no surprise that it’s basically a collage of you communing with nature and animals. (How did I get a girl so passionate about fishing? It still baffles me.) And of course I had to include that one of you with your brand new “boy haircut” (bottom row, middle photo) because that photo reminds me of the quiet confidence you’ve always had to not only be yourself, but to 100% own it.

And if I had to choose just one picture? THIS would be it:

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Geez, that picture makes me so happy. Energy. Enthusiasm. Exuberance. It’s all you.

LO, don’t ever listen to anybody that tells you you have to change – including me. I am definitely guilty of trying to quiet your spirit sometimes. I hope if and when you’re a Mom, you’ll understand the tricky balance between embracing your kid 100% while at the same time discouraging behavior not often well-received in the real world… for instance, using an outside voice in an inside restaurant. 🙂

Let me be clear on one thing though: you are loved, unconditionally. Whether you are cheering on the soccer field (and I do mean, WHILE you are playing), shining on the “Guys & Dolls” stage or yelling across the library, I want you to really hear this: YOU ARE UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED. And you always will be.

NIB, you’re next. Here’s your collage of nine:

Declan

Dude, you were a serious baby. Affectionate towards HD… and/or tackling him. Loving sports (and brackets) with your buddies. Mischievous grin. And that shot in the upper-right corner? That’s when you insisted on marching in our town’s Memorial Day parade with LO’s Daisy troop. You were two and a half years old and you walked the entire damn way because you were not going to miss out on that action.

Choosing your perfect photo was easy:

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LOOK AT THAT FACE!! Intense. Competitive. Strategic. You’re never as happy as you are during a “winning game.” The ONLY thing this picture doesn’t convey is your sensitivity. You can play tough guy as much as you want… we see your mushy inside! Hold onto it, bud… it will make you a better person, on and off the field.

OK, HD, you’re up. Top nine:

Grayson

For you, I picked pictures that capture your quiet focus and simple joy.”Meet the Cars” with Pop… two of your favorite things in one picture! That one in the bottom middle perfectly captures the face you make when I strongly encourage you to answer grown-ups when they ask you a question. The photo in the upper left reminds me of what a happy baby you were. You didn’t move until you were like a year old. And I mean, no crawling, no rolling, nothing. We’d put you down just like that with a bunch of toys and you’d still be there hours later. Of course you can be the silliest one of the bunch, but generally, you just want to do your thing. At home. Inside.

Your ONE picture is kind of predictable… I took it a few days ago, the morning after we got home from Ireland. This is what you do.

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You just play, imagination at work. I cannot wait to see where it takes you.

I’m pretty sure I WON that Photo Challenge, right Nib?

OK, so here we are in mid-August, facing the end of another great summer (I can hear LO screaming, “But I haven’t even had my birthday yet! Summer is not over!”). Nib, I’m sorry we didn’t get to cross “See Halimton” off the bucket list… but you were introduced to the formidable Lindsay Lohan when we watched The Parent Trap so I’d call this summer a success!

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In exactly three weeks (after LO’s big double digit birthday), all three of you will get on the SAME exact school bus and go to the SAME exact school for the first and last time ever. All three of you under one roof for the entire 2016-17 school year. I can’t wait. NO WRESTLE BABY IN THE HALLWAYS, you guys.

Let’s do big things this year. Let’s try new tricks on the playground and invite new friends to join us. Let’s learn new math facts and help Mom understand them, too. Let’s read all of the books! Let’s be kind and brave. Let’s work hard on the sports’ fields and let’s also be great on the sidelines. Let’s stand up for ourselves and for others. Let’s know when to sit still and when to stand up. Let’s use our voices when we need to speak and stay quiet when we need to listen. Let’s keep our hands to ourselves but share all the other good parts of ourselves. Let’s use our brains and our hearts equally. Let’s create art. Let’s talk to each other and connect and share and most importantly, let’s love.

It’s gonna be a great year.

Love you the most,

Mom

 

6 responses »

  1. If they are willing to loosely define “being famous” as “having your mom’s friends feel like they know you and always cheer for you even though we live far away and you probably don’t remember us,” then, yes, your nap blog is making them famous. Also, is that the world’s first photo of Pop without a jacket on?

  2. Now I know how you found that picture of us! Great choice for eachildren one…I might try to do that with my kids…baby pictures only!

  3. Wow! This is a wonderful post! But that last paragraph is easily one of my top five favorite things you’ve ever written!! Maybe I’ll print it out for my “family rules” poster. Seriously, I love it!

  4. Echo Lori and Kerry…..amazing last parapragh and inspiring and I don’t even have kids…..

    And I’m so happy to have an indirect secret shout out…..BRUNCH!!! xoxoxo

  5. Krissy what an interesting and great post for the ending of the summer. Their personalities shine through every photo. And your personality shines through every word of your whole blog, especially the last paragraph. You go girl!

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