Monday, August 11, 2014

Picture Perfect..... and Behind the Scenes

I've been thinking lately about our stories and our pictures and what we choose to share or not share with others. I notice that many pictures out there in social media portray the most beautiful parts of life. And that's okay. It's nice to highlight the lovely and focus on what is beautiful. But sometimes, I look at those pictures and wonder if there's more to the story.

In a small example, I love that Olivia Wilde chose to take a picture for Glamour Magazine of herself breastfeeding her son, because I feel that any public display of breastfeeding is great. I also love when she admits that really, her baby peed all over the beautiful dress she was wearing in the shot! Motherhood is beautiful... and messy and chaotic and sometimes terribly overwhelming. At least that's my experience.

So I might start a series here, and I'll show to you a lovely picture where all is wonderful and calm. Then I'll share with you the real story of what happened just before or after the picture was taken.

The boys and I spent a lovely afternoon and evening together at the pool. We are once again visiting my parents this weekend while Chris finishes up a project. My mom and I drove with the boys over the the pool and my Dad followed in his car (because even in a mini van, we can't fit three adults, given all the car seats). We swam, we enjoyed the perfect weather and ate a picnic dinner by the pool.

It was SO nice.

And... this picture doesn't tell the full story.

Here is what unfolded behind the scenes:

As we pulled up to the pool in our minivan, one of the boys had a huge meltdown because his brother "saw the pool first" and you see, he "WANTED TO SEE THE POOL FIRST!!!" Oh it was all so devastating.... and tantrum inducing. (read: somebody could have really used a nap today but didn't get one!)

I also noticed that another kiddo had fallen asleep in the car. So first, I send Colin and another awake boy ahead to the pool with my mom. Colin is pushing the stroller, loaded with our stuff. The one who was tantruming wants to go too but I explain that while he's still so upset and screaming, "I wanted to see the pool FIRRRRRSST!" he needed to wait with me in the car. But as I'm trying to get him back into the car, so as not to cause a scene in the parking lot, the car alarm starts going off and I can't figure out how to stop it. 

And it all makes sense, because really we don't make enough of an entrance as it is. I felt like hanging out the car window and yelling, "WE'RE HEEEEEREEEEE!"

Then I see Colin racing back over across the lawn that separates the pool from the parking lot, with the stroller, ready to pick up another kid.

So I put Owen in the stroller next, and Colin rushes him over the the pool and to my mom, then he returns and we load up 'the tantruming one', who has let go of the fact he didn't see the pool first today, takes him over, drops him off and returns to finally pick up the one who is still fast asleep. I grab the rest of the stuff and together we head over! Colin thought this was so exciting (thank goodness)! By the end of it, I couldn't help but laugh at the chaos of it all. With five boys, the ages that they are, entrances like this one, are just inevitable sometimes. 

And really, truly, we had the best time, but you wouldn't know the whole story if you only saw the pictures. ;-)

Carter, Owen, Finn, Colin, Everett

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