I made it home today traveling stand-by with three kiddos. Yay, us! I wish I had pictures of the event, but my hands were literally too full for a camera. I think I managed four shots, all of them poor.
So, instead of the blow-by-blow of how we did it (snacks, songs, cajoling and bribery all played their parts), I’ll take a step back.
At dinner every night with the kids, we ask them to tell us:
What was your best thing today? What was your worst thing?
As my time with my little ones draws to a close on the first leg of our marathon vacation, I’ve been reflecting on my best thing and my worst thing.
I’ll start with the worst. (Eat your broccoli first and save the yummy stuff for the last taste, right?)
It’s the worst that I always, always, always forget until the last minute that I wanted to be in some vacation pictures.
On this trip, other than the picture when I misguidedly attempted to document what it’s like to jam 3 kids and 1 adult on a ride that traditionally seats 2 people,
and this photo featuring one of my hands,
I completely forgot.
Until, that is, we were on the tram our last afternoon at the park.
As soon as I snapped this pic of Greg and Cael,
I asked Greg to take some pictures of me with the kids just to prove I went on the trip.
By “asked” I mean that I shoved the camera at him and frantically started issuing photo-taking orders. He is such a good sport.
All I wanted was one good shot of my little kids and me.
Was that too much to ask of my exhausted children on a moving tram in the two and 1/2 minutes before we arrived at the parking structure? I think not.
Of 10 attempts (see what I mean by good sport?), Greg got these:
1. Cai = enthusiasm incarnate:
2. Cai, still enthusiastic. Aden and Cael, without eyes. And did the sun vanish behind a cloud for just this one dark shot?
3. OK, now I’m starting to lose enthusiasm for this project. This picture does, however, nicely cut off the forehead zit that you can see poking out from underneath my hat in Photo #1.
4. Cai’s starting to regain his interest.
5. Aaaand, with who knows what word about to come out of Cai’s mouth, I quit.
That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. My best personal portraits on Little Kids’ Trip 2011.
Except for my favorite, taken a few minutes later in the parking garage:
It’s a bad picture with terrible lighting. There’s no ambiance, and there’s nothing to catch your interest.
But somewhere between carrying twin boys, my red eyes, Cai’s blurred out face, and Cael clinging with all his might to my left breast cup, this is the photo that best tells the story of the trip.
Because even though we’re all tired and a little worse for the wear, the experience didn’t happen on Disney rides or even with the Mouse himself. It happened in parking garages and on planes. It happened in snazzy hotel pools with awesome towels. It happened in the back seat of the car having to share space with siblings.
The experience happened in being together.
My best thing?
We’re still smiling!
Now I’m off to finish 6 loads of laundry so we can start the whole thing over again tomorrow.