A Picture Isn't Always Worth A Thousand Words

So recently, I did what most moms dread...I dressed up all of my little boys and took them to get their picture taken.

*Cue the scary music*

We all know how it is.  You spend weeks shopping for outfits that match or coordinate, you make haircut appointments far enough out so that your children's hair won't look "freshly cut," you take practice pictures at home, talking to your children about how to pose and smile, and most importantly, you promise some kind of treat if everyone smiles and behaves.

And in my case, you make sure the babysitter is available to come along and help.

The day of the appointment, you are stressed, you yell at the kids, "Don't wrinkle your pants! Stop messing up your hair!  Don't eat that - you'll spill it on your shirt! What do you mean you have to go potty now?!"

I'm usually a nervous wreck before we even step foot in the photography studio.  And this time was no different.  I was convinced that the baby would spit up all over his shirt (and I didn't have a back-up outfit that matched). The older boys were sulking in the corner about having to get the picture taken in the first place. And my three-year-old spilled water all over the front of his shirt.

So we go.  Hairdryer in hand, baby completely covered by the biggest burp cloth I could find, promise of the largest cookies the mall has.

The photographer poses the boys, and I hold my breath.  She makes my seven-year-old kneel, and I know that will hurt his knees.  She gives the baby to my five year old, and I'm afraid he'll tire of holding him before she has the three-year-old posed.

But it all happens, and the pictures are taken. 

And, as usual, it is one of the first ones taken that turns out beautifully.

This picture doesn't show the wet shirt, or the spit-up fear.  It doesn't show the whining or the promise of cookies.  It doesn't show the weeks of planning or the yelling that occurred just hours before.

It just shows a beautiful family of little boys.

Who would have thought?

Who would have known that it is also missing one very important person?  It looks complete to everyone but us.  We know it should include another person, another beautiful, not-so-little boy.

A thousand words aren't even enough to tell the story of this picture.
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