Not-so-annual family photos

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It’s an obligation if you’re in my family: you must take an annual photo. Call it preserving the changes in life, if you must. This year, though, we just could not coordinate fresh hair cuts, 100 percent attendance, and outfits before the temperature dropped.

Our remote seems to have reached its end, so we had to resort to the timer. Once the button is pushed, the runner (aka MOM) must get to the designated empty spot in the family formation before the time’s up. Otherwise, the missing member is seen in a 9-part photo series as a blur moving behind the others who are likely watching her harried efforts instead of looking at the camera.

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Ri was particularly funny about the camera. She watched the blinking light speed up as the time ended and said “uh oh.” The result? Every photo has her in some mid-utterance with her hands raised in concern. One burst has the eldest with his tongue sticking out. Ironically, every one else is perfectly posed and picture-ready. Well, that’s not exactly true. Out of shape runner that I am, I look like a frazzled mess with half my hair blowing in the wind, my face flushed, and a pose not quite right somewhere in the middle of the bunch. And seeing that I’m the same height standing as my son and husband kneeling, there’s an oddity about the pictures.
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It probably didn’t help that it was cold. And the sun? Well, she played peekaboo behind the clouds and created squinting eyes and odd-shaped shadows whenever she appeared.
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As I’ve known for some time, hubs has a picture time clock. If needed pictures aren’t captured in, say, 20 minutes, he declares the effort a wash and goes on to other activities. He does it with Ri when she refuses to give me the perfect shot during a booking session, and he did it with our family photos. I suppose the others would quit, too – – if I’d let them do so without repercussion.
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Alas, we ultimately got the shot, though it’s hardly the one I dreamed about. Here we are, the Smiths.

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