First Christmas Photo: All Smiles and Satisfaction

Many parents struggle with getting just the right shot for their annual holiday cards. Thirteen years ago, I was hoping for something decent-what I received was truly memorable.

He was just barely three months old; she was a grown up three-year-old excited to have a baby brother.  I carefully planned out their matching outfits and location for the photo, hoping to capture just the right sentiment between feedings and naptimes.  Nervously, I propped Cameron on the couch next to Lily, hoping for a quick shutter flash.  As I rapidly shot the photo I wasn’t really looking at them-my hope was just to get it done.  When I paused to check, I noticed that despite my fears of capturing those real-life moments of screaming, slumping and spitting up, instead I found smiles:  smiles of pride on big sister’s face, and a smile of sheer satisfaction and safety on my baby boy’s.

This photo not only graced our first official family Christmas card that year, but has become a framed reminder of the completeness I felt with being their mother.  When I look at their shining faces I am reminded of what is right in the world, and the love and hope they have brought to me over the last thirteen years.

Jennifer is a junior high teacher, mom to teens, and blogger at mamawolfe and travels with mamawolfe .

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