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Perfect Just the Way They Are

For more years than I care to admit, I’ve put off having my boys’ portraits taken professionally.

You see, they were never on the same haircut schedule. One was always shaggier than the other.

We never quite had the right outfits. And, quite honestly, I didn’t want to listen to them bitch and moan about having to wear khakis.

So, since *ahem* 2003, the same portrait of my boys has graced the shelf in my office.

They were seven and four.

Yep. Not at all the people they are today.

And yet, I just procrastinated year after year after year.

[Enter my bestie....]

Every year, my best friend takes my boys Christmas shopping to get their gifts for me. It’s their tradition and they swear that they’re going to do it even into adulthood.

We’ll see.

But, nevertheless, this year she picked the boys up and took them shopping one Saturday morning in December.

They completed their shopping.

They had lunch.

Later, we met at the school where Thing Two was scheduled to play a basketball game that afternoon.

Before the game as we were handing off responsibility for supervision of the children, my bestie handed me a large cardboard envelope.  You know, the kind portraits come in.

And my first reaction(s)?

If this is what I think it is…

  • Holy crap! I don’t even know if Thing One brushed his teeth, and Thing Two is seriously overdue for a haircut. 
  • Holy crap! Did anyone think to have Thing Two clean his eternally filthy glasses?
  • Holy crap! What the HELL were they wearing when they left the house????

But I took a deep breath and opened the envelope to see:

teenagers

and…

and…

Plus these two…

and…

And I cried.

I was so touched. So grateful.

Then, the story came out that they had conspired to plan this day for months.

They explained that they had other poses in dressier clothes, in more traditional settings, but that when the time came to purchase portraits for me, they didn’t like any of those.

They liked the shots that showed them as they are: Nirvana t-shirt, Laplander hat, long hair, messiness, and love.

And I quite agree.

What do you think? Here’s the alternative:

The shots where their true personalities were captured are so much better, aren’t they?

Crazy thing is that if I had been the one to take them, I’d have striven for perfection. New haircuts. Nice clothes. Fake smiles.

And not been one bit happy with the results.

The pictures I have of them now show them as they are every single day.

Pretty sure that is how I want to remember them when they’re grown and have moved away.

Not some gussied up version of themselves.

The genuine, imperfect, lovable amazing kids that they are.

Because they are enough.

And as a heartfelt side note, I want to share that Thing One (who likes to present to the world a persona of “I don’t give a sh*t”) was reported to have said, “Someday, Thing Two, she won’t see us every day. This is important,” in response to Thing Two’s whining that they were taking way too many pictures because “she sees us everyday” and that he was tired of it.

Bravo, Thing One.

Glad you hung in there, Thing Two.

Thank you, Bestie.

I love you all.

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