Sunday, November 2, 2014

Family Pictures

We got our family pictures taken today. Or at least we attempted it. It was a beautiful fall day, everyone had on clean, cute clothes that matched (but not too much), Elena didn't seem bothered by her runny nose (everyone healthy was too much to hope for!) and she napped right up until time to go.  Scout seemed excited about going to the park in our pretty dresses and getting a new family picture taken. We talked about how we might hang it on the wall to look at, about how it'd be nice to have one with Elena in it. Andrew snapped this photo of us at the park, walking to meet our photographer.

And then Scout got nervous.  Our photographer is super nice, laid back, and quiet.  Not overly bossy, not a lot of directions, really the best I could hope for to deal with our sensitive child.  So this is no fault of hers, but Scout did not want the photographer to look at her.  Or to take a picture of her.  At all.  She got nervous, like she does about new situations, new people, or being put on the spot.  Pressure gets to her.  All she wanted to do was hide behind us so that she wouldn't be in a shot.  We tried talking her through it; we tried teasing her out of it. We tried bribing her (ice cream, chocolate, anything...).  Nothing worked.  Finally we played some (without looking at the photographer), we walked some, and we hoped that the photographer got some good shots of Andrew and I with Elena.  If we are lucky there might be a few good candid shots of us walking together (before Scout noticed that we were being watched), or playing together on the tire swing.  Maybe all of us hanging in an apple tree.  But no good laughing photos of all us, no carefree playing, no big cheesey grins or kisses from my happy, loving girl.

I'm proud of Andrew and I, we did a good job of reminding  each other (with looks) that it really isn't a big deal.  It's just a picture and it's not worth getting mad at her over, not worth making her feel guilty.  This is part of who she is right now, and she's not doing it on purpose.  She is awesomely funny and caring and insightful and considerate.....and nervous in new situations, and anxious around people she doesn't know, and she shuts down when she feels pressured or like she isn't doing what you want her to be.  She really needs that extra time to watch and process and be ready to join of her own accord.  I'm sad that we weren't able to capture the first part of her, the part that I enjoy on a daily basis.  But this really is part of who she is, and I love her because, and in spite of, all of her sensitivities.  And next time?  I think we will book a longer session, start with pictures of just Andrew and I...and hope, hope, hope that she wants to be a part of them.

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