Unexpected Simplicity

While cleaning out my inbox today, I found an email from some friends that generated family pictures and I remembered that I had failed to generate said picture.

One thing that is true of parenting adolescents -- is that you (I) become hyper aware of any request / demand / expectation / boundary / direction / norm  -- that you give voice to.

Because regardless of which of those categories it falls into, and regardless of how much you care, how much it does or doesn't reflect your own needs or interests -- it becomes:

1.) a battleground for autonomy and individuality,

2.) a personal insult upon the adolescent,

3.) a reflection of the very essence of the parent's character

4.) a MASSIVE inconvenience for the adolescent,

5.) ONE MORE EXAMPLE of how the parent DOESN'T care about MY life but JUST wants to make ME miserable.

(you get the idea, but trust me, I could go on....)

So I knew that there was no way that we could coordinate a portrait of any kind -- like say this photo which was the last time (I think) that we had a family picture that included all four of us (and it was two summers ago), but on the other hand I wanted to respond to the email and not let it languish in my inbox for another six months -- waiting for the right moment.

So I started walking around with my phone in the air taking backwards pictures and trying to get everybody into the background -- a kind of stealth family photography.  Eventually my efforts became obvious and, after a small battle, this pose emerged.   Given the stage of life and the relative authenticity of everyone's facial expressions?   I couldn't feel more pleased.

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