A Picture is Worth a Thousand “Likes”

What this picture says about my life:

IMG_1609The sun was shining, the water was perfectly cool, the kids were happy and ready for their first day of swimming lessons!  I was obviously cool and collected, smiling happily at the kids as I said “Say ‘First day of swimming!'”  They did so willingly, and then they jumped in the pool as I lay back on a beach chair, my infant napping peacefully in his stroller beside me.

The Truth:

In order to get to swimming lessons, I had to load 4 kids into the car, remembering to bring suits, towels, sunscreen, new diapers, a double stroller, water bottles, and car snacks, although the car snacks were obsolete as the kids refused to eat them and begged (I mean begged, like it was so loud that things sound like you’ve just left a concert for an hour after) for McDonald’s.

Lessons were an hour away IF I got lucky and didn’t have to stop at the road construction.

Oh, and Calder only got in the water 2 out of 8 days that were already paid for.  Basically my head felt like it was going to explode every.single.day.

What this picture says about my life:IMG_1034I potty trained my twins!  Yay for me!

The Truth:

My twins are not potty trained.  Not even a little.

What this picture says about my life:

IMG_2217Ohh the wonderful summer memories my children will have some day as they sit around Grandma’s house (that’s me) talking about their days of climbing trees and swimming in lakes, catching frogs, and eating choke cherries.

The Truth:

Where did this picture come from?? I sure didn’t take it.  I would never let my kids climb a tree.

What this picture says about my life:IMG_1656Our summers are filled with exciting adventures like this one, followed by putting our exhausted kids down to bed so the grown ups can sit around playing cards and laughing.

The Truth:

Adventures like this one are extremely few and far between.  And when they do happen, they mostly consist of me standing at the shore, panic stricken, because one of the boys just stood up in the canoe.  I probably had just yelled at them to all sit their butts down, but then said “smile for a picture”, which is why Aaron is the only one smiling.  Soon after this I motioned for them to come back to shore because it was getting late and no one had eaten dinner yet.

What this picture says about my life:IMG_1404My wonderfully supportive husband gives me many opportunities to escape the rigors of everyday parenting to get together with best friends and remember the good old days.

The Truth:

Well, that is actually very true.  But this particular day something dreadful happened that was out of both of our control, which is why my memory of this day has been spoiled.

It rained on and off all day and as these wonderful girls and I tried to catch up I couldn’t help but think maybe I should cut the visit short and head home (it was over an hour drive).  But I didn’t listen to my intuition, and shortly after this picture was taken I was on my way home in a torrential downpour that ended up doubling my driving time.  About halfway home, I pulled over into a parking lot and just cried and prayed that I wouldn’t die.  This was a very real concern of mine.  I thought seriously about spending the night in the car, but decided to just forge ahead.  I was sore for several days due to my tight grip on the steering wheel.

 ———————–

I have to admit, about a month ago I found myself logging back into my Facebook account with every intention of only using it for the “important stuff”.  After 6 months FB free I was sure I could handle it.

I was so so wrong.

I have been more unhappy in this last month than I remember being for such a long time.  Why?  Because every single picture I see of a life glamorized by social media makes me wish MY life was different, or worse, over.  No matter how many times I remind myself that pictures don’t always represent the reality of someone’s current situation, I find myself being dragged into the pictures as if they were laughing at me and telling me my life isn’t good enough.

I do love pictures — I have a gazillion of them and keep getting pop ups that my storage space is almost gone — and its not always the way I describe above.  Many times I am taking pictures to try to capture a very special memory that I hope will still feel as special when I look at it some day down the road.  But my point is that just like I shouldn’t judge someone else’s situation by the pictures they post online, my pictures don’t always show truth either.

I do appreciate having beautiful pictures of the difficult times though because usually the experience seems much sweeter when I look at it through refreshed lenses.

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One thought on “A Picture is Worth a Thousand “Likes”

  1. Bravo! What a fabulous and intelligent post! Anyway, I just want you to know that everytime I see one of your wonderful pictures I smile because it depicts how awesome your life must be and how happy you are! So I guess we can all learn something from this… 🙂

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