In the Wee Hours

It’s barely 6 a.m. this Sunday morning. I’ve tested the weather, and it’s COLD. Funny how weather always brings on the arctic chill when you want to go out somewhere, but when you’re not venturing anywhere in particular, the weather is fabulous…

Yesterday was an odd day. Our family – Mom, Dad (aka Oma and PopPop), Tav and his Fiance, Me and my kiddies – were set to pose for a portrait for the church’s new directory. With these things, you just can’t miss the opportunity (afterall, the last directory was created pre-Chi because she’s in my belly in the photo on Mom’n’Dad’s wall). But it wasn’t right.

We coordinated our outfits via text message (oh how modern we’ve become!) and confirmed via phone that we’d look charmingly coordinated but not obsessively matched. We met at the designated time at church.

I should say that I ran a mother marathon before this photo. Chi has Saturday Institute at school to improve her Language Arts skills and it concluded just a half hour before our appointment in front of the lens. As with every professional photo session, I had to take on the painful task of attacking Chi’s hair – which always seems to be fine the day before but is extra frizzy when it’s picture time like she purposely has a tumble fest in bed. And then I had to make myself presentable. Of course Ya’s outfit had to be adorable and never-before-featured, so I hit up a sale at Children’s Place the day before. They forgot to take off the security tag which was big and obvious on the edge of his sleeve. I discovered this moments before packing up the wardrobe and leaving for school. And for a millisecond I contemplated leaving the darn button on, taking the picture, and returning the shirt for aggravation. But I like the shirt and it fits. So, I left Chi at the academy (where I was supposed to observe her class), and stood outside the store until it opened for the day’s business. All this for a photo shoot?

We arrived before the rest of the family. (How did that happen?) I went about the great fix-up by changing Ya into his outfit(who times his baby barf to precisely the minute before a critical picture/event/trip). I then noticed Chi had gotten a huge pencil line on her shirt while at school. I complained. Loudly. Then I changed into my freshly pressed shirt and silently prayed that it would not be soiled before we got at least one good shot. And finally, as Dad impatiently called us to the camera man, I wiped down both kids’ noses with diaper wipes (those things are so handy!) and let the guy pose us.

But my baby brother – who is at this very moment buried under midterms, projects and papers – is in Texas for the next few months. Though I am elated he’ll be graduating in May, I miss him terrible. And this “family” photo shoot made it so much harder to bear. How do you take a family picture with your brother missing?

As we sat to view the pictures (Ya refused to smile, barely acknowledged the camera, and had his hands in his mouth for several poses…and in a few there were wayward adult eyes, strained smiles grimaces, and psychotic expressions), it was hard not to think of Arf-a-darf. There is a hole – appropriately made, though accidental – between Tav and I. It belongs to our brother.

It wasn’t right.

365… Let’s see here… I owe for Feb. 16-21, right? This would be so much easier if I could find my calendar, if the date stamp on my camera worked on a 24-hour clock (you explain that one), and if I had said camera with me all the time. But alas, a few days met with only the cell phone camera 🙁

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Comments

  1. I understand the sadness of a missed brother. My three sisters and I got our families together esterday with my mom and grandma who were visiting from Ohio. The only person missing (besides my dad who is on the heavenly side), was my brother and his two kids. That was 11 nieces and nephews and four sisters in one place. Lovely time but sad at the same time.

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