Ah, Christmas. That wonderful time of year when families come together and all is joyful….until the inevitable foot-in-mouth situation.
I love that there are now children around again at Christmas. But three years ago I was teetering on the edge of post-partum depression, fueled by an epic family disagreement (one day to be the subject of a post). And in those first newborn weeks I made the stupid decision to get professional photographs taken of the newborns.
Why was this stupid? Firstly, we had not arranged this before the birth due to the tricky pregnancy, so we were scrambling to find someone. Secondly, I was in no fit state to make decisions (saying yes and amen to everything the photographer suggested). Thirdly, my mother was around so there was an elephantine witness to the whole debacle.
The photographer we picked (who happened to be free and was recommended on a forum) sounded lovely over email. But without guidance from me, it was left to her to decide what photos to take. And she took the most awful posed, dressed up photos. All I wanted was a nice normal family shot of the four of us. We ended up with the children dressed up in all sorts of costumes or horrific skin-to-skin shots that were not all suitable for the relatives to see.
The photographer was doing her darnedest to get these photos. But the shoot took over three hours and only ended when I said we’d had enough. It was ridiculously long for newborns, and for sleep-deprived new parents.
And then….in a sleep-deprived haze of depression, I allowed the same photographer to make our birth announcement cards and actually sent them out. Apparently the relatives were appalled at the picture used, saying it looked more like a death announcement. I can’t blame them.
It’s been three years since the photography debacle. Three years that I’ve tried to wipe it from the collective memory with new photo sessions, new framed photos, new cards and presents to the relatives. And yet, three years on, on Boxing Day, my mother still feels that it is appropriate to bring the whole sorry situation up. To remind me that, back then, I just felt that it was all going wrong.
Mother, in the words of one of the most popular films of all time, please just LET IT GO.