I didn’t think it was a big ask. I don’t ask for much. Just five minutes of their time scheduled months ago so they wouldn’t forget and could plan around it but when the moment arrived, one was wanting to rush out the door to a rehearsal in readiness for tomorrow’s exam (last minute preparation is not a rare thing), another was in bed sleeping off 10 days of schoolies and as for the other, well he was jumping up and down on the trampoline completely hyper from the coke he’d been given by the pizza delivery guy.
All I wanted was a photo of the three of them. With the dogs. It’s about the only thing I ask of them all year. ‘It’s just for my Christmas card. Could you just do it? It won’t take long. You don’t even have to brush your hair or iron a shirt; just come as you are’. I should have offered money.
Archie just has no time. He’s completely stressed. Absolutely no idea why. He doesn’t even have a job. Yes, he’s got his exams and yes it’s a challenge to learn Marc Antony’s monologue from Julius Caesar the night before the exam but he could have prepared for it earlier. It’s not like they surprised him with it.
But in his eyes I’m a beast for mentioning such things like, ‘How about a schedule?’. I’m just an unsympathetic mother with no clue.
And then there’s Arabella who flew up to the Gold Coast for the dreaded ‘Schoolies’ week but had to extend it by four extra days so she could ‘experience’ Byron Bay. There were only four calls during that time to transfer more money into her depleted account. ‘I’ll pay you back, mum. It won’t take me long. You know I’ll work hard’. Really? She marched in through the door and went straight to bed. And it was lunchtime.
And Alfie’s just high on life. High literally and physically because I’ve had to work back at night so he’s been opening the door to the pizza delivery guy who’s dropping off the nutritious evening meal covering all five food groups. With a coke. And to add to the excitement, Alfie’s teacher, the wonderful Miss B, has cast Alfie in the lead role in the Christmas production. Can you believe that plain t-shirt is going to be on the stage front and centre! Alfie has been cast as Santa. Is there any greater honour! I’ve been given the inside information about where to position myself for the best possible vantage point. I’ll be sure to share the drama!
Every year, at about this time of year, I become very demanding. I actually demand a photo shoot with all three kids in it. I know the resultant image will be the only one I’ll have for that entire year. It’s just something I like to send out with my Christmas cards. You’d think I was asking for a kidney. Archie was grumpy, Arabella was refusing to get out of bed and Alfie was squeezing the dog so tightly she was yelping.
And so that is how I’m recording the agony and the drama of this year’s ‘Merry Christmas’ family portrait.
Are we unusual? How many photos do you have with all your offspring in the one image – looking happy!