As part of a creative exercise, I'm taking a picture from every year of my extensive photo collection and writing about it. I use the month and date to determine the folder # and picture #. This random but measured system will provide a glimpse into the people and places of my past.
The picture for this post came from 2003. It was taken at my in-laws house at Christmas time. There is so much to like about it. So much joy. So much energy. So much happiness. So much anticipation.
Back when the kids were young, we used to drive out to New York every other year or so for Christmas. It was always a grueling 12 hour drive across 6 states, a feat of strength when you're toting 2 kids in a car or van. But when we arrived, it was all worth it. Just watching the cousins play together was payment enough.
The photo shows my sister in-law, Jill flipping her daughter Halle over her head in what looks like a dangerous move, but is actually harmless. As a gym teacher by profession, she was always active and rough and tumble with our kids. It was all good as you can tell by the line of kids waiting for their turn at the maneuver.
Some other things I like about the picture is the sparkle in the kids' eyes. They shine with the twinkle of Christmas and excitement. This moment is an escape from the wintry weather and the struggles of school. Kids need play and horse-around time and this game embodies both. I used to treasure wrestling on the living room floor with my kids when they were younger than this. Nothing better.
The matching shirts is another noticeable thing in this photo. There was a day when my parents in-law had matching sweatshirts made up that had a Christmas tree and a Cornucopia stitched on them. We all wore them during our time together known as "Thanksmas", the weekend after Thanksgiving when we celebrated both Thanksgiving and Christmas together either out here or in New York. When the kids outgrew the sweatshirts, we went with a single matching color, namely Christmas red. (Though these shirts look pink, they were really red.) It was one of those quirky family traditions that I'm glad we had. One the kids will always remember.
There are times I'd like to go back to these moments for just a few hours. They were hard times as a parent, but rich times in the memories department.
We did our best, and from the looks of this photo, the kids were happy to be there.