Perfect family.

Pffft. Back in December, I had an epiphany of sorts.

We went tromping through muddy, melting snow with friends to pick out a Christmas tree. I forgot my “good” camera, so our phone cameras had to do.

Here is the picture we took of our “perfect family:”

perfect family

It captures us totally. Ok, fine. I did a little edge burn on the sides of the photo, but this is us.

I wanted to send it for our Christmas cards this year, but it was frowned upon by an older family member. I caved. And I’m sorry and kinda mad at myself that I did. In previous generations, the pressure to appear like everything was fine must have been intense. It permeates all the way down to our Christmas cards in 2014. “What will the neighbors think?”

I’ve decided that I don’t really care what the neighbors think. This is who we are, warts and all. Please note: not actual warts. I’m talking about the metaphorical kind. I think when the warts are out in the open, we’re all better able to understand that messiness is life. And that’s ok to let it stick out.

Say, for instance, on your Christmas card photos.

And truthfully, that’s what I want people to see. Not my shiny ‘everything’s FINE!’ Christmas card picture. I want people to see that there is joy in the mess. That there’s a mess in the joy. That you’re going to forget your good camera, that you’ll step in a snow puddle up to your knee, that only two of the four of you will be facing the camera at any given moment, and that’s life. And that’s a life I’m really proud of. Faking it is exhausting. And I also think that faking it eventually makes it all crumble down around you because you can no longer figure out what’s the real messy family and what’s the fake perfect family.

Boy Child went to school last week in pajama pants. He was happy as a clam. And comfortable. He didn’t care that they were pajamas. He was totally himself and full of joy that day because he didn’t have to fake being perfect and comfortable.

We could learn alot from Boy Child.

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