Family Photos With a 10,000 Word Backstory

Family Photos Story Behind The Smiles

The Story Behind The Smiles

These last few years, the first day of school at our house has been very random and never really very clear. It even strikes on different days depending on who you are.

That’s why I stick with our First Day of School Picture tradition on the front porch. If I waited for the perfect time for the First Day photo, it’d never happen. Like so many things in life, there’s never a “right time” for taking a family photo either. At least not on my front porch.

As a homeschooling family of six, our schedule is completely by our own design. At this point we really only have two kids that are being traditionally homeschooled, but that doesn’t make the photo any less required. The elder two have already graduated from college but are still living at home, (working and paying rent, I might add, but that’s a story for another post).

Usually we ease into our fresh new routine no matter how spectacular my newly created schedule looks on paper.

After over two decades of homeschooling, I’ve become accepting of that which I cannot control. No matter how I design our schedule and plan for contingencies, I always underestimate the random and spontaneous.

By default, I’ve learned to accept that messy is OK, timelines are suggestions and minimum standards are subjective.

So as is tradition in our house, we take a front porch picture at the beginning of the school year. Of course I had planned to take the photo a week before but that didn’t happen. (Remember random and spontaneous?)

Our First Day of School photo includes every kid living in the house at the time, regardless of age. After all, homeschooling is not defined by age or grade. It’s lifelong, and we all serve as good examples. And even as perfect bad examples.

I bet the picture from our front porch doesn’t look much different than yours. Any household with teenagers and emerging young adults probably shares a similar vibe. No matter the schooling of choice.

I think we all share a sense of cray-cray wrapped in the warmth of family that makes this wild journey worthwhile.

I can’t speak for those with an only child, but if you have more than one, it’s likely they’re all going to be, if not polar opposites, extremely different in personality causing all sorts of interesting fireworks. Add a few more to the mix and you’ve got daily explosions.

Our before and after picture tells a thousand words but there are probably 10,000 more that go along with it. Tempers flared as egos were crushed during this urgent and impromptu photo shoot chiseled in as half the family was hustling out the door to get to work.

Let’s just say those picture perfect family photos we’ll soon start seeing as the holidays roll around likely have a 10,000-word backstory as well.

Here’s the abridged version of the story you see in this photo.

Kid X slugged Kid Y who instantly reacted by pummeling Kid X right back.

When questioned, Kid X said, “I didn’t mean to hit Kid Y”

That begged the question: “Then who did you mean to hit?” (As if that were ok.)

Kid X said, “I meant to hit Kid Z!”

Oh that explains it. Then that’s OK.

This harkens back to when Kid X was four and choking Kid Y and said upon questioning, “I’m not choking him. I’m just holding his neck tightly.”

There’s always an explanation right?

Anyway, that’s a peek into our happy and special cray-cray that likely isn’t all that special and plays out all over the world when combining divergent personalities with raging hormones.

No matter how I plan for family pictures to really reflect the smiles we share, nearly 100% of the time there are 10,000 other words on the cutting room floor.

With that I say, Namaste! Keep snapping those family photos. Be brave and chisel them in even when there’s “No time.” You will never regret capturing a moment even if it’s sprinkled with a little cray-cray.

Do you have a story behind the smiles you share? Tell us in the comments! Please tell me we’re not the only ones! 🙂

Keep sPaRkLing!


First Day of School

About The Author

Maria Slaby

I'm a lot of labels, not the least of which is a mom / wife with four awesome kids and an amazing husband. My lifelong love of making cool stuff with an eye on our humanness has also turned me into a branding and publishing specialist. I love helping others bring voice to their passions in this wild and tangled digital world. Catch up with me on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @mariaslaby.