Our Happy Family

Our church directories were handed out this past Sunday. I knew this day was coming because we had our picture taken sometime in the fall. In fact, I expected this day to come a couple of months ago, so the wait was just a delayed sort of gratification.

You see, I remember that day very well. Millie was still firmly in the midst of her “I hate group photos” stage and she wasn’t willing to play along that day. Before I go on, take a look at how we will be seen by anyone from our church trying to find our phone number for the next 18 months (thankfully, the number in this one is correct):

Our Happy Family

I have a pretty good feeling parents on the ultra-strict side will look at this and tsk tsk us for allowing our daughter to behave this way. I’m okay with that – tsk away. I’m particularly thankful for this photo, and for its place in the Memorial church directory. Why? I think it gives a much better representation of who we are than the standard quick smiles most folks are capable of mustering for the few seconds of waiting for their photo to be taken. I’ve seen photos of some particularly rascally kids before – they look like angels for those 3.4 seconds in time. But just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a family by their church directory photo, either.

I was talking to a new mom the other day and happened to mention one of the stupid things I do as a wife, parent, pseudo-homemaker. She sighed in relief – I became real to her at that particular moment in time. Before, she said she’d seen us around, but just assumed we were one of those families (that is, the kind that has it all together). Somehow on Sunday mornings, I must have just managed to give off the impression that we’d arrived.

Obviously this gal has never joined us for the wiggle fest in our pew that is Sunday morning worship; if so, we would have blown our cover long before. But having spent an afternoon with us in our home, she needed no more reassurance. We’re human. We struggle, we fail, we cry. We pray. We forgive. We try. This happens again and again.

So for this reason, I’m happy to be represented in the church directory in this way. I love my Millie. And I thank her for giving everyone a true picture of the realness of our lives. Maybe for the next directory, we should invite the photographer to join us at our home two hours before going to church – *that* would make for an interesting photo.