This is what picture day is like for us. We finally chase everyone down and get them in nice clothes that match and their hair is fixed. Then we strap them into the car and talk to them to keep them busy and their hands out of their hair. We tell them as nicely as possible that they better smile at the right time and not make a fuss. Then we get there and it's a lesson in patience to get them all facing the same direction and happy enough to smile at a camera on a tripod. I tell Gracie that not everyone is as patient as Mommy and that she really needs to obey the first time. Amazingly, more often than not, she sits back down just as the shutter clicks.
The first spot picked for picture taking was nowhere near wheelchair accessible, but really nice for big groups, so we took Becca out of her safety zone (read: wheelchair) and tried to sit her supported on a stone step. During individual family pictures, she and I went for a walk so we could "come back to center" after some tears on her part. It upsets me when she's upset and we both needed to walk in the quiet and take deep breaths. She still wasn't very calm when we got back, but it was our turn. She teared up some more and between that and wrangling so you could see everyone... well, it's a lot like herding cats. That's probably part of the reason you can see tear shine in Becca's eyes.
Then, finally, we get to see Becca smile. It's when she's holding her brand new baby brother that her Spirit shines through. It's when they are heart to heart that hers sings. To say that our lives do not revolve around our kids would be completely false. It does and theirs orbit ours, too. We cross often and remain concentric always, but it is true that just about everything I do is for them or because of them or with them... I just have to keep reminding myself how not normal we are and we never will be. We are our own kind of normal. And normal for us means trying for that perfect family picture and accepting that it might not be as great as the little moments you capture by happy accident.
We got some really nice family pictures this day and it's no one's fault that Becca was sad. She does really well making sense of her world with her limited senses most of the time. Who can blame her for feeling insecure once in a while in a new place with new sights and sounds and feelings when the receptors for such information are buffered and hindered by a body one off from the norm? I certainly don't. I do everything I can to help her make sense of her world and protect her from too much all at once, but I am only one person and I really like to document our history with pictures. :)
A BIG thank you to Paul for taking these pictures and for being willing to do it over and over. :)