I’m baaaaack! Acts of Davis has been sadly neglected. When I logged on tonight, little tumbleweeds actually blew out of my laptop. We have been on vacation for the past week, and I was under strict orders from my husband not to alert the internet that we would leave our house unattended while we frolicked on the beach out of state. (Oh, yes, we DID frolic. I have photos.) Now that we have safely returned home, I am free to discuss our “holiday”, as the Brits say.
We spent the week in a lovely beach-front house with a pool. The house included three master suites looking out onto the ocean, an enormous kitchen, and a theater room. Needless to say, whenever we couldn’t find Davis, he was curled up in a leather reclining chair watching movies in there. He loved the beach, but he got a little choked up when he said goodbye to that theater room.
The kids had the “cousins’ room”. Picture four kids, aged 7, 5, 4, and 3 (my baby nephew was too little to be included) on beds and on mattresses on the floor, listening to bedtime stories and trying to convince the adults that they really were trying to go to sleep. They had a ball, sneaking in flashlights and trying to stay up late. That was some of the most fun we parents had all week – listening at the door to their whispered conversations. We didn’t understand half of it, but they did, and I think those are the times they’ll remember when they are all dancing at each other’s weddings. They played on the beach. They made sand castles. They swam. They ate too much junk food, despite Jenn’s and my protests. They all curled up for Shaun the Sheep movie marathons when they had had their fill of sun and sand. When they finally did sleep, they looked like little sun-kissed angels.
Along with all of this memory-making comes the obligatory family beach picture. You know the one I am talking about. The beautiful picture of the entire family on a spotless sandy beach, tanned and rested, smiling serenely into the last pink and purple bands of a sinking coastal sun. Everyone is looking at the camera. Everyone’s eyes are open. I love these pictures. My friends all have their personal version of this picture proudly displayed over their fireplaces, or blown up 16x20 on the living room wall. They are gorgeous, a golden moment forever captured in time. Not my beach pictures. My beach pictures are destined for a “when beach pictures go terribly wrong” segment on David Letterman.
My children are very good looking kids. Scott and I don’t scare villagers, so I don’t understand why we cannot take a decent family beach picture. Add in two grandparents (who are very photogenic, so it’s not their fault), two more adults, two more little boys, and a baby, and we didn’t have a prayer. The weather was perfect. The backdrop was perfect. The subjects…hmmmm…not so perfect. Sarah, our nanny and photographer, did everything she could. She sang. She danced. She threatened to put us all in time-out if we didn’t look at the camera and smile. We took, over the course of two evenings, over 400 shots. You would think we had gotten one lousy perfect gorgeous breathtaking picture, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?!?
I promised my mother-in-law that I would go through the pictures and find the best one. This would be the picture that captured this summer and our kids at this point in their young lives. After an hour and a half of going through the shots, I finally decided on the best one. Everyone IS looking at the camera, eyes open. Even the baby is facing forward. Katie doesn’t look happy, but she looks neutral. None of the parents are correcting kids. The grandparents seem to be relaxed and happy. Davis (age 4) and Nat (age 3) look relaxed and happy, too, because they are BOTH grabbing their crotches. Not in a vulgar way, like Lady Gaga or Madonna or Kathy Lee Gifford, but in that way that little boys do, just making sure that everything is there to be forever documented in the family photo. I tried to find another picture. You don’t know how I tried. That one was, undeniably, the best one. I decided to take it in stride, like the year I sent out Katie’s Christmas photo bloopers. Crotch-grabbing family photos happen. This is part of life. This is part of parenthood. And yes, they DO sell wine in grocery stores in North Carolina.
(The official, released-to-the-world pictures are on my facebook page. For the Acts of Davis crowd, enjoy! If you are nuts enough to follow this blog, you deserve a good laugh.)